More than 40 people have been killed in a stampede as Iranians flocked to the burial of a top commander killed in a US drone strike.
The deaths led to the postponement of Qasem Soleimani’s interment. Officials say a new time will be announced later.
Soleimani is being laid to rest in his hometown of Kerman, 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 Ali Khamenei. The US saw him as a terrorist and a threat to American troops.
US President Donald 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.
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It is unclear what caused the stampede in Kerman, south-eastern Iran, but vast numbers of people were in the streets ahead of Soleimani’s burial, first set for Tuesday morning.
A medical official put the number dead at 32, with nearly 200 people injured. Initial reports from state media put the death toll at 40.
Local media reports that Iranian officials have renewed their threats of revenge.
“The martyr Qassem Soleimani is more powerful… now that he is dead,” the Revolutionary Guards’ top general, Major General Hossein Salami, told crowds in Kerman.
The Guards were set up to defend Iran’s Islamic system and are a major political and military force.
Mourners chanted “death to America” and “death to Trump”, reporters there said.
Here is a video report of the incident courtesy of Aljazeera.
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