January 8, 2020 - 16:25 AMT
Iran’s Soleimani buried in hometown

Top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was buried in his hometown of Kerman on Wednesday, January 8 just hours after Iran attacked two Iraqi military bases that house US troops in retaliation for the U.S. airstrike that killed him, CNN reports.

Soleimani was killed by a drone strike in Baghdad on Friday in a dramatic escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran. His death sparked fury and grief across Iran, where he was revered as a national hero and icon.

Tehran declared three days of national mourning, and the past few days have seen huge crowds of black-clad mourners take to the streets for his funeral procession in both Iraq and Iran.

The final burial had originally been set for Tuesday, but the ceremony was delayed due to the massive crowds. Tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets in Kerman on Tuesday, leading to a stampede that killed at least 56 people and injured 213, according to state news agency IRINN.

The burial came just hours after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases that house US troops.

A US official said that there were no initial reports of any US casualties, but an assessment of the impact of the strikes is underway. An initial report from an Iraqi security source indicated there were Iraqi casualties, but Iraqi security officials later told CNN there were no casualties among Iraqi security forces.

After the US strike last week, Tehran vowed revenge for the killing, calling it an "act of war" and "state terrorism." People in Iran have also called for revenge -- in funeral processions and memorials these past few days, crowds grieved, but also expressed their fury, chanting "Death to the USA" and burning American flags.