BREAKING Soleimani: Stampede kills at least 35 mourners at commander’s burial
At least 35 people have been killed in a stampede as Iranians flocked to the burial of a top commander killed in a US drone strike, Iranian media report.
More than 48 others were injured in the incident in Kerman, according to the reports.
Qasem Soleimani is being laid to rest in his hometown with millions already estimated to have packed the streets for funeral processions.
His killing has raised fears of a conflict between the US and Iran.
Soleimani was widely considered the second most powerful man in Iran behind Supreme Leader Khamenei. The US saw him as a terrorist and a threat to American troops.
President Trump adopted a tough stance against Iran after his election and Tehran responded with their own campaign. Tensions were raised further last month after the US attacked an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq it blamed for attacks on US forces.
In Kerman, south-eastern Iran, vast numbers of people were again seen in the streets with Soleimani’s body due to be buried shortly.
“The martyr Qassem Soleimani is more powerful… now that he is dead,” said the Revolutionary Guards’ top general, Major General Hossein Salami, told crowds.
The Guards were set up to defend Iran’s Islamic system and is a major political and military force.
Mourners chanted “death to America” and “death to Trump”, reporters there said.
“He [Soleimani] was seen as a great man who was ready to serve his people… He must certainly be avenged,” an 18-year-old student who was there told the AFP news agency.
On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei led prayers at Soleimani’s funeral in Tehran, at one point weeping over his coffin.
Unconfirmed estimates from Iranian state television put the number who took to the streets of Iran’s capital alone as “millions”. The crowds were large enough they could be seen in satellite images.
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