Dozens of mourners killed in stampede at Soleimani's funeral in slain general's hometown

Dozens of mourners killed in stampede at Soleimani's funeral in slain general's hometown
Dozens of people have been killed and scores injured in a stampede that broke out at a funeral procession for top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.
2 min read
07 January, 2020
The stampede broke out in Soleimani's home town of Kerman [Getty]

A stampede at a funeral procession for slain Iranian army general Qassem Soleimani on Tuesday has left at least 50 people dead and 212 injured, according to state media.

The incident happened in the former elite Quds Force leader's hometown of Kerman in southeastern Iran, following days of mourning.

Iranian state television quoted the head of Iran’s emergency medical services, Pirhossein Koulivand, saying there had been people injured and killed. 

"Unfortunately as a result of the stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions," Koulivand said.

A procession in Tehran on Monday drew over 1 million people out in the Iranian capital, crowding both main thoroughfares and side streets.

The outpouring of grief was an unprecedented honour for a man viewed by Iranians as a national hero for his work leading the Revolutionary Guards' expeditionary Quds Force. The US blames Soleimani for the killing of American troops in Iraq and accused him of plotting new attacks just before his death Friday in a drone strike near Baghdad's airport.

Soleimani also led forces in Syria backing President Bashar Assad in a long war, and he also served as the point man for Iranian proxies in countries like Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

US President Donald Trump's decision to order the killing of Soleimani came at the behest of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who "spoke to President Trump multiple times every day last week, culminating in Trump's decision to approve the killing", officials told The Washington Post.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected