Iran deadly blasts identified as suicide bombings; suspects arrested

Iran deadly blasts identified as suicide bombings; suspects arrested
The Islamic State released this picture which it said is showing the suicide bombing duo. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews January 5, 2024

Iran’s state media announced on January 4 that the twin blast that rocked the southern city of Kerman a day earlier was a suicide bombing. Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said several suspects had been arrested.

IRNA cited an informed source and said: "While the initial scene investigation in the early hours of the explosion indicated a bombing operation using explosive packages in Kerman, further examination of evidence, including CCTV footage, now conclusively suggests that one of the terrorist explosions was the result of a suicide act, and the other likely followed the same method.” 

Islamic State claimed responsibility on January 4 for the terror attack in Kerman that killed nearly 100 people and wounded many others at a ceremony to commemorate General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone in 2020, Reuters reported.

The terrorist group later released a picture that it said was showing the suicide bombing duo. 

Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said: "Our country's capable intelligence agencies have found very good clues regarding elements involved in the terrorist explosions in Kerman, and a section of those who had a role in this incident have been arrested."

IRNA also wrote, citing the informed source: “The perpetrator of the first suicide attack was a man who disintegrated due to the explosion, and the identification process is currently underway.” 

The locations of the explosions, at distances of 1.5 kilometres and 2.7 kilometres from the burial site of Qasem Soleimani, were chosen due to the impossibility of passing through inspection gates in those restricted areas, IRNA noted.

Tehran has vowed a severe response following the blasts.

In a letter dated January 4, Iranian UN ambassador Saeid Iravani affirmed Tehran's commitment to utilizing all available mechanisms to ensure accountability for the perpetrators and their accomplices in the recent terrorist attack.

In his letter, Iravani strongly condemned the acts of terrorism, asserting that Iran will spare no effort in seeking justice for the victims of this tragic incident.

”The Islamic Republic of Iran openly deplores such heinous acts of terrorism and will spare no effort in pursuit of justice for the victims of this incident," stated Iravani in the letter.“As a victim of terrorism with direct experience of its disastrous consequences, Iran reaffirms its unchangeable commitment to lead the fight against this great catastrophe,” he added.

The UN reacted to the deadly blasts by strongly condemning the acts of terrorism.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He wishes the injured a speedy recovery”, said Florencia Soto Niño, UN Associate Spokesperson, briefing journalists at the regular noon briefing in New York.

The UN chief called for those responsible to be held accountable for the deadly blasts.