Stam­pede at funeral leaves dozens dead

More than 50 peo­ple were killed and 212 peo­ple in­jured in the stam­pede in Ker­man, says ISNA

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Dozens of peo­ple were crushed to death af­ter a stam­pede broke out on Tues­day dur­ing a mas­sive funeral pro­ces­sion for a top Ira­nian gen­eral as­sas­si­nated in a US drone strike.

The tragedy came as griev­ing crowds packed the home­town of Revo­lu­tion­ary Guards com­man­der Qasem Soleimani, a hugely pop­u­lar fig­ure in the Is­lamic repub­lic.

More than 50 peo­ple were killed and 212 peo­ple in­jured in the stam­pede in Ker­man, semiof­fi­cial news agency ISNA said, cit­ing the emer­gency ser­vices chief in the south­east­ern city, Mo­ham­mad Saberi.

Anx­ious Ira­ni­ans gath­ered out­side a city hos­pi­tal to check the lists of vic­tims or show doc­tors pic­tures of their miss­ing rel­a­tives.

Cor­re­spon­dents in Ker­man said the streets were filled with mourn­ers, while oth­ers took refuge on hill­sides around the city, where the gen­eral was to be buried at the mar­tyrs’ ceme­tery. af­ter the US leader is­sued a US strike list of 52 tar­gets in the Is­lamic repub­lic.

On Tues­day, Ira­nian law­mak­ers voted to des­ig­nate all US forces around the world ‘ter­ror­ists’ over Soleimani’s killing.

Par­lia­ment also agreed to bol­ster the cof­fers of the Quds Force, which Soleimani led, by tary fig­ure Abu Mahdi al Muhan­dis. Bagh­dad re­quested in a let­ter to the UN that the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil con­demn the US strike so that ‘the law of the jun­gle’ is not al­lowed to pre­vail.

The op­er­a­tion rep­re­sented ‘a dan­ger­ous es­ca­la­tion that could lead to a dev­as­tat­ing war in Iraq, the re­gion and the world,’ wrote Iraq’s UN Am­bas­sador Mo­hammed Hus­sein Bahr-Alu­loom.

Ger­many said on Tues­day it was with­draw­ing some of its troops de­ployed to the anti-IS coali­tion in Iraq.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenber­g warned on Mon­day that Iran must avoid ‘fur­ther vi­o­lence and provo­ca­tions’.

The Euro­pean Union, whose for­eign min­is­ters will hold emer­gency talks on the cri­sis on Fri­day, said it was in both Iran and Iraq’s in­ter­ests to ‘take the path of so­bri­ety and not the path of es­ca­la­tion’.

Saudi Ara­bia also ap­pealed for calm af­ter a ‘very dan­ger­ous’ es­ca­la­tion.

(AFP)

Peo­ple gather around a ve­hi­cle car­ry­ing the cof­fin of slain top gen­eral Qasem Soleimani, in his home­town Ker­man on Tues­day

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