Dozens Die in Stampede at Soleimani Funeral

State TV reports 35 killed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 7, 2020 5:12 AM CST
Updated Jan 7, 2020 6:54 AM CST
Dozens Die in Stampede at Soleimani Funeral
Coffins of Gen. Qasem Soleimani and others who were killed in Iraq by a US drone strike are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners during a funeral procession in the city of Kerman, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020.   (Erfan Kouchari/Tasnim News Agency via AP)

A stampede erupted Tuesday at a funeral procession for a top Iranian general killed in a US airstrike last week, killing 35 people and injuring 48 others, state television reported. According to the report, the stampede took place in Kerman, the hometown of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qasem Soleimani, as the procession got underway. Initial videos posted online showed people lying lifeless on a road, others shouting and trying help them, the AP reports. Pirhossein Koulivand, the head of Iran’s emergency medical services, confirmed the stampede took place. “Unfortunately as a result of the stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions," he said.

Earlier Tuesday, the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard threatened to “set ablaze” places supported by the United States over Soleimani's killing last week, sparking cries from the crowd of supporters of "Death to Israel!" Hossein Salami made the pledge before a crowd of thousands gathered in a central square in Kerman before Soleimani's casket. Iran's parliament, meanwhile, passed an urgent bill declaring the Pentagon and those acting on its behalf in Soleimani's killing as “terrorists." According to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, Iran has 13 sets of plans for revenge for Soleimani's killing. The report quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, as saying that even the weakest would be a “historic nightmare” for the US. “If the US troops do not leave our region voluntarily and upright, we will do something to carry their bodies horizontally out," he said.

(Read more Qasem Soleimani stories.)

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