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Stampede kills more than 40 people, injures more than 200 during Soleimani funeral in Iran, according to reports


The stampede took place in Kerman — Soleimani's hometown

Photo by Hamid Vakili/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Tuesday stampede in Iran claimed the lives of at least 40 people and injured more than 200 others.

The stampede took place during a funeral procession for Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq last week. An estimated tens of thousands of people crowded the streets of Soleimani's hometown of Kerman on Tuesday to pay their respects to the fallen general.

What are the details?

According to Fars and ISNA news agencies, Pirhossein Koulivand — head of Iran's emergency medical services — said the stampede was horrific.

“Unfortunately as a result of the stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions," he said.

According to Reuters, Koulivand said the incident occurred because of "heavy congestion of the crowd."

A Monday procession in Tehran drew more than 1 million people.

The late general will be laid to rest between two former Guard comrades who were killed during 1986's Operation Dawn 8.

What else?

The airstrike on Soleimani — who was responsible for the deaths of at least hundreds of Americans — has prompted Iranians to call for revenge against the U.S.

On Tuesday, Hossein Salami, leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, vowed to set areas supported by the U.S. "ablaze."

"We will take revenge. We will set ablaze where they like," he reportedly said amid a crowd's cries of "Death to Israel!"

The U.S. State Department advised all Americans abroad to leave the region immediately.

What else do we know?

The strike on Soleimani's convoy, which took place at Baghdad International Airport, was carried out by a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone, which is said to have a range of more than 1,100 miles and can reportedly reach an altitude of 50,000 feet.

The U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement that the airstrike was a "decisive defensive action" in order to protect U.S. personnel abroad.

"At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization," the statement read. "The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world."

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