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Mourners throng Iranian city for Soleimani funeral procession

Storyline:Security, World

The body of the late General Qassem Soleimani, the former head of the elite Quds Force, arrived on Sunday and was received by mourners in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz.

Mourners, dressed in black and in their thousands, were shown on state TV carrying posters with Soleimani’s picture as his casket, which was wrapped in the national flag, snaked slowly through the masses. The mourners beat wept and beat their chests as a sign of respect to the late general who led Iran’s Middle East operations as commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force.

The body was later flown to the holy Shi’ite Muslim city of Mashhad. Soleimani’s body is set to be transported to the capital, Tehran, on Monday after which it will be moved to his hometown Kerman on Tuesday. Soleimani was killed on Friday in a U.S. drone strike on his convoy near the Iraqi capital Baghdad sparking further tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

The airstrike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces. The IRIB news agency reported that the body of al-Muhandis was also flown to Ahvaz.

Thousands of mourners chanting “America is the Great Satan” had marched through Baghdad ahead of the funeral procession for Soleimani.

Soleimani, 62, was viewed as Iran’s second most powerful figure after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Source: AFP