At least 50 killed, 200 injured in a stampede at Soleimani’s funeral

At least 50 people were killed in a stampede as Iranians flocked to the burial of top commander, Qasem Soleimani’s, who was killed in a US drone strike.

The deaths led to the postponement of Qasem Soleimani’s interment.

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.

The exact death toll is unconfirmed – one emergency official put it at 32 while another said it was 40. Nearly 200 people are also said to have been injured.

“Unfortunately because of overcrowding 32 of our citizens lost their lives in the procession… and 190 were injured,” the head of the country’s emergency services, Pirhossein Koolivand, told the channel initially.

The injured were immediately transferred to hospital, he added.

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.

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