A pair of bombs exploded into a crowd of people today at a commemoration for Iran’s former top general in the city of Kerman, Iranian officials said. At least 103 people were reported dead and another 211 wounded.

The attack sowed fear and grief across Iran, which has been on edge for more than a year over divisions between the hard-line government and many of its people. It also heightened concerns of a widening conflict across the Middle East, coming a day after a strike killed several Hamas officials near Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.

Iranian officials said the bombs had been placed in bags along a road where a procession was on its way to observe the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Qassim Suleimani in an American drone strike. The officials said the bombs appeared to have been detonated via remote control. Given the sheer scale of the blasts, the death toll was likely to rise.

Iran’s president seemed to blame the U.S. and Israel for the attack. But analysts said the blasts, which bore the hallmarks of terrorism, did not fit Israel’s usual methods. They said that while it was too soon to tell, there were numerous possibilities for who might have attacked the cemetery, including the Islamic State or Iranian separatist groups.

Source » nytimes