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Iran arrests 11 people in connection with double attack | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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The coffin of a victim of the double attack is carried by the crowd during a day of national mourning, January 5, 2024.

Radio-Canada

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Iranian authorities announced Friday that they had seized explosives and arrested 11 people suspected of having played a role in the twin attacks that left 89 dead in Kerman two days earlier.

This is what the Intelligence Ministry said in a statement broadcast on Friday by state television in Tehran.

The attacks, claimed Thursday by the armed group Islamic State, left at least 89 dead, according to a latest report provided by state television after the deaths of five injured. They are the deadliest in the history of the Islamic Republic, founded in 1979.

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Mourners gather around coffins wrapped in Iranian flags during the funeral ceremony for victims of the attack.

In its statement, the Intelligence Ministry said two people were arrested for providing assistance to the two suicide bombers who caused the explosions. The other nine people are suspected of links to the attacks, the ministry added.

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Explosives, explosive vests, remotely detonated explosive devices and detonators were also seized, he said, adding that one of the suicide bombers was identified as being of Tajik nationality.

The attacks occurred a quarter of an hour apart during a ceremony marking the fourth anniversary of the death of General Qassem Soleimani , former commander of external operations of the Revolutionary Guards, killed on January 3, 2020 by an American drone strike in Iraq.

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Iran on Friday buried the victims of a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group.

The funerals of the victims took place on Friday, in the presence of President Ebrahim Raïssi as well as General Hossein Salami, the leader of the Revolutionary Guards.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">They began in the courtyard of the Emam Ali mosque, where a mourning crowd gathered in front of dozens of coffins wrapped in Iranian flags. Victims from Kerman were buried in the martyrs' cemetery, near the tomb of Qassem Soleimani. State show many people present at the funeral brandishing the Iranian flag, that of Lebanese Hezbollah, a Shiite movement allied with Tehran, and portraits of Qassem Soleimani.

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi visits a boy injured in a bomb blast on Wednesday in the city of Kerman.

Despite the Islamic State group's claim, Iranian officials, starting with President Raisi, have continued to accuse Iran's main enemies, Israel and the United States, of complicity in the x27;attack.

Mr. Raïssi, who visited the grave of Qassem Soleimani, claimed in a speech that the Islamic State group had been formed by Israel, the sworn enemy of the Islamic Republic.

Know that the initiative belongs to us, the place and time [of responding to the attack in Kerman] will be determined by our forces, warned President Raïssi .

Earlier, the Iranian president went to a hospital in Kerman to the bedside of the wounded, according to images provided by the presidency.

With information from Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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