Middle East

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly blast in Iran

The explosions happened in the city of Kerman during an event honoring the slain Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

People gather at the site of an explosion in the city of Kerman.
ISNA via AP
SMS

The Islamic State claims it was behind Wednesday's blasts in Iran that left at least 84 people dead. 

In a post on Telegram, reviewed by The New York Times, the terrorist organization said the attack was a "dual martyrdom operation."

The explosions happened in the city of Kerman during an event honoring the slain Gen. Qassem Soleimani. He was killed in a 2020 U.S. airstrike. 

The two militants involved in the blasts in Iran reportedly approached Soleimani's tomb before detonating bombs that were strapped to their bodies. 

In addition to the 84 people who were killed, another 284 were wounded, Iranian officials said. 

Aaron Y. Zelin, a senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, theorized that the Islamic State likely wanted Iran to blame Israel for the attack so it could take advantage of a wider conflict in the region. 

“This falls under the modus operandi of IS, especially since it was such a mass casualty attack,” Zelin told The Associated Press. “They are kind of like the Joker. They want to see the world burn. They don’t care how it happens as long as it benefits them.”

Iran has not commented on the Islamic State's claim that it was behind the attack. Officials had previously called the attack an act of terrorism. 

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