The burial of assassinated Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani has been postponed due to a stampede which erupted on Tuesday during the funeral procession, state media reported.
Iranians poured into the streets of Soleimani’s hometown of Kerman on Tuesday to pay their final respects. Photographs of the funeral procession show throngs of mourners dressed in black. Some carried flags and portraits of the slain Quds Force leader as they slowly moved through the town. Local media estimated that several million people attended the funeral.
Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of slain top general Qasem Soleimani, in Kerman on January 7, 2020. © AFP / ATTA KENARE
However, the huge turnout tragically led to a stampede that killed 40 people and injured 213 others, state television said. Graphic videos on social media purportedly show trampled bodies lying on the street. The crowds forced authorities to postpone Soleimani’s burial, the semi-official ISNA, but the news agency did not specify how long the delay would be.
Mourners gathered on a rocky mountain in Kerman, the hometown of Iranian general #Soleimani as his farewell procession and funeral continued for a 2nd day
Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad last week, prompting several days of mourning in Iran. A funeral ceremony in Tehran, held on Monday, reportedly drew more than a million people, but no serious injuries or deaths were reported.