Delhi: Dozens of people have been killed in a crush during a funeral ceremony for the Iranian military commander Qassem Suleimani attended by hundreds of thousands of mourners in his home city of Kerman.
The crush occurred as a burial procession for Suleimani, 62, was beginning on Tuesday morning. At least 56 people had been confirmed death by early evening local time with more than 200 injured .
Eyewitnesses the procession was held along narrow roads and that side-streets in some places had been closed, trapping the vast crowds in tiny areas where a disaster was foreseeable. “People had no way out,” one person said.
Another said the procession moving with Suleimani’s coffin was met with another group of m
ourners travelling in the opposing direction, causing some to fall and be crushed in the ensuing panic. “The path was very narrow and some people were coming from the opposite way, that’s why many people died,” they said. The crowds were the largest since those that turned out for the 1989 funeral of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. A Guardian correspondent who attended the funeral procession in Tehran on Monday had reported being pressed on all sides by people for more than an hour and being overwhelmed by noise from the crowd and loudspeakers.