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Iran arrests 11 over deadly bombings


The Iranian Intelligence Ministry said on Friday that it has arrested 11 people in six provinces for suspected involvement in the deadly twin bombings in the southeastern province of Kerman.

In a statement published on its website, the Intelligence Ministry condemned the "terrorist disaster," which took place near the tomb of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Kerman on Wednesday, killing at least 89 people and wounding some 280.

The Islamic State group (IS) claimed responsibility for the bombings on Thursday, saying two suicide attackers carried out the blasts.

The Iranian intelligence services tracked down the perpetrators shortly after the attack and cooperated with other security and police units to identify other suspects who had assisted the bombers, according to the statement.

It added one of the two "suicide terrorists" was a Tajik, noting that the identity of the other had not been determined yet.

The ministry said the first detention operation was carried out on Wednesday evening after identifying those who had transferred the "terrorists" into the country, adding that their lodgings were located in the suburbs of Kerman in the early hours of Thursday, and two backup agents who had provided the bombers with accommodation were arrested.

Communications intercepts collected by the U.S. suggested that Afghanistan-based branch of IS carried out the attack, Reuters reported on Friday, though IS did not specify that its Afghanistan-based affiliate, known as ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K), was responsible for the bombings.

The incident was one of the deadliest attacks on Iran in decades. The explosions occurred near Soleimani's burial site in Kerman, where many Iranians had gathered to honor the late general, who was assassinated in a U.S. drone attack on January 3, 2020. 

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: People gather during a funeral for Faizah Rasimi who died in twin explosions in southeastern Iran's Kerman in Tehran, Iran, January 5, 2024. /CFP)

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