OThe new figures were released by Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi during a visit to several hospitals in the region, citing forensic data, according to the Iranian agency Tasnim, linked to the Revolutionary Guard.
No explanation was given for the new toll, but previously, when it dropped from 103 to 95 deaths, Health Minister Bahram Einollahi said that some names had been repeated on a list of victims.
The Interior Minister said that the double explosion also caused 284 injuries, some of whom remained in critical condition, meaning the death toll could increase.
Vahidi specified that 220 people were still hospitalized, the majority in stable condition or only needing “minor surgery”, according to the Spanish agency EFE.
The attack occurred on Wednesday, when thousands of people were taking part in ceremonies to honor Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, murdered in 2020, in Iraq, on orders from the then US president, Donald Trump.
The double explosion took place near the Saheb al-Zaman mosque, where Soleimani’s tomb is located, in Kerman, about 820 kilometers southeast of the capital, Tehran.
This is one of the most serious terrorist attacks on Iranian territory in recent decades.
“Security, intelligence and justice agencies are on high alert and under control, executing their plans in accordance with established protocols,” said Vahidi, referring to the situation in the area.
Vahidi said the attack was carried out with “highly explosive” materials and targeted civilians, constituting a “reprehensible, cowardly and malicious” terrorist act.
“The incident demonstrates the depth of the enemy’s evil,” he said, without identifying the possible perpetrators.
The attack was not claimed.
The minister said that those responsible for the attack will be detained by security and intelligence forces and that those who support them “will fear the wrath of the Iranian nation.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised “a tough response” to the double explosion on the fourth anniversary of Soleimani’s death.
“The evil and criminal enemies of the Iranian nation have once again caused a disaster and turned many among our people in Kerman into martyrs,” he said.
“This catastrophe will meet a harsh response, God willing,” promised Khamenei.
Several Iranian officials held Israel and the United States indirectly responsible for the attack, as they “hold grudges against Soleimani and decided to take revenge on the people, after several of his plans to destabilize the country were neutralized.”
Soleimani, head of an elite force within the Revolutionary Guard, was the architect of Iran’s regional military activities and is hailed as an icon among supporters of the Iranian theocracy.
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