ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly twin bomb blasts near the burial site of killed military commander Qasem Soleimani in southern Iran.
At least 84 people were killed and 284 injured in the blasts on Wednesday, January 3, Iranian state-run news agency IRNA reported, in what was the deadliest attack in Iran since its 1979 revolution.
ISIS issued a statement on Thursday – more than 24 hours after the explosions – claiming two suicide bombers had detonated their explosive vests as Shiite mourners gathered for the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Soleimani near his grave in his hometown of Kerman.
The group offered no further proof and their account of the blasts differs from that given by Iranian media and officials.
Iran’s interior minister said the two blasts happened almost immediately, with the second, deadlier blast coming as others rushed to help the wounded.
Another state media outlet, IRINN, said the first explosion was caused by a bomb placed in a suitcase inside a car and appeared to have been detonated remotely rather than being caused by a suicide bomber.
Videos showed large numbers of people running in the area after the explosions, bloodied bodies on the ground and ambulances driving through the packed crowds.
Iran declared Thursday a day of mourning and President Ebrahim Raisi cancelled a scheduled trip to Turkey.
Before ISIS’ statement, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi blamed Israel for the explosions and warned it would pay a “heavy price.”