ISIS claims responsibility for Iran bombings, killing 84 people

On Thursday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Kerman, Iran, targeting a commemoration for Iranian general Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2020. This attack, which killed at least 84 people and wounded 284, is the deadliest militant attack in Iran in decades. Experts have confirmed that the statement claiming responsibility came from the Islamic State group, who likely aim to take advantage of the ongoing chaos in the region due to Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic State group's claim identified the attackers as Omar al-Mowahed and Seif-Allah al-Mujahed, stating that they carried out the attacks with explosive vests. The group's statement used derogatory language towards Shiites, whom they consider heretics.

The motive behind the attack appears to be the Islamic State group's desire to see Iran strike at Israel, potentially sparking a wider regional conflict that could benefit the extremist group. The group has previously claimed responsibility for other attacks, including a 2017 attack in Tehran that targeted parliament and a mausoleum, killing at least 18 people.

The Islamic State group, which once controlled significant territory in Iraq and Syria, has been weakened by U.S.-led forces but remains a threat. It has been in disarray in recent years but has still been able to carry out major assaults. In Afghanistan, for example, the group is believed to have grown in strength following the fall of the Western-backed government to the Taliban.

The claim by the Islamic State group came as they called on supporters worldwide to avenge the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip by attacking Christians and Jews. The group also criticized Palestinian factions for aligning with Iran, accusing Tehran of taking advantage of the situation to appear as the defender of Palestinians.

Iranian officials have not yet acknowledged the claim, but state media reported on it. Earlier reports suggested that surveillance footage showed a male suicide bomber detonating explosives, and a second blast likely came from another suicide bomber.

The death toll from the bombings has been revised lower due to repeated names on the list of victims and the severity of injuries suffered by some of the deceased. However, many of the wounded are in critical condition, so the death toll may rise.

Authorities plan to hold a mass funeral service for the victims on Friday, although plans for the event may change due to security concerns. The attacks occurred on the fourth anniversary of Qassem Soleimani's killing, and they followed other recent incidents, such as the suspected Israeli strikes in Beirut and Syria, which have raised concerns about an escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict into a wider regional conflict.


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