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ISIS claims responsibility for twin bombings in Iran that killed dozens of people and injured hundreds more
By Arsenio Toledo // Jan 09, 2024

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Thursday, Jan. 4, claimed responsibility for two bombings that killed nearly 100 people and injured hundreds more in Iran.

On Wednesday, Jan. 3, two bombs exploded in the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman during a ceremony commemorating the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the United States. As head of the IRGC's special forces unit, the Quds Force, Soleimani is considered an icon by supporters of Iran's regime.

The blasts occurred within long lines of people gathered to mark Soleimani's assassination. They killed at least 84 people and wounded an additional 284. Iranian government officials noted that many of the wounded are in critical condition, so the death toll could further rise. This is the deadliest terrorist attack to occur in Iran since 1978.

In a statement posted on Telegram channels affiliated with the Islamic State, the terrorist organization claimed two ISIS members detonated explosive belts in the crowd in Kerman. The Islamic State's hardline Sunni Islamic ideology considers Iran and its majority Shia Muslim population to be apostates and legitimate targets for attacks. ISIS previously claimed responsibility for a mass shooting at a Shia Muslim shrine in 2022 that killed 15 people. (Related: AI chatbot tries to get British anti-terrorism advisor TO JOIN ISIS.)

Iran shutting borders to limit chances of ISIS militants coming into the country

On the same day the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings, Iranian government spokespersons noted that the country was bolstering security along the country's borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan, the first tangible sign that Tehran suspected the attack to be the work of ISIS militants.

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"We have points on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan that are a priority for blocking," said Minister of the Interior Ahmad Vahidi.

One of Tehran's main goals will be to limit the amount of traffic crossing through border checkpoints. The government is already scheduled to discuss tighter security along the border with the Taliban.

The Islamic State has an affiliate – the Islamic State Khorasan Province, known as ISIS-K – that is primarily active in Afghanistan and could have been responsible for the attack. Aaron Zelin, an Iran expert for the think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, noted that Tehran has repeatedly accused ISIS-K of being behind many foiled terrorist attacks in the past few years.

The IRGC has promised to conduct a "harsh response" against ISIS, describing the attack as a "blind and spiteful act to induce insecurity in the country and take revenge on the love and devotion of the great nation of Iran."

Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber told reporters in Kerman that those responsible would receive "a very strong retaliation" that would be meted out to them "by the hands of the soldiers of Soleimani," referring to the Quds Force.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi similarly condemned what he called a "heinous and inhumane crime." Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei similarly vowed revenge for the bombings.

Authorities plan to hold a mass funeral service for those killed. Initial plans were for a mass service to be held on Friday, Jan. 5, but these were later scrapped, possibly over security concerns in Kerman. Instead, mass protests erupted in Iran on Friday.

Watch this clip from Fox News reporting on ISIS claiming responsibility for the twin bombings in Kerman.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.

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