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Updated January 6th, 2024 at 13:00 IST

US intelligence: Islamic State’s Afghanistan branch behind Iran Kerman blasts

The January 3 bombing in Iran near the tomb of the slain IRGC Quds force commander Qassem Suleimani  was the deadliest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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US on Friday confirmed that the Islamic State’s (ISIS) Afghanistan-based branch was behind the Iran’s Kerman twin blasts that claimed as many as 100 lives. “The intelligence is clear-cut and indisputable,” the agencies reported a source as saying, citing the US intelligence. Requesting anonymity, the sources claimed that the US gathered data, communications intercepts, phone calls and more to be able to reach to this conclusion.

The January 3 bombing in Iran near the tomb of the slain IRGC Quds force commander Qassem Suleimani  was the deadliest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Two suicide bombers had detonated the explosives in the midst of massive crown gathered on Suleimani’s death anniversary. ISIS on January 4 claimed the responsibility of the bomb blast near the senior Iranian military commander’s grave who was assassinated in Iraq in 2020 US drone strike ordered by the former US President Donald Trump.

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US has ‘pretty clear intel’

While the ISIS published statement claiming responsibility of the blasts, US had not previously figured the role of the Afghanistan-based affiliate, known as ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K), which was unveiled in the latest intelligence. ISIS-K conduced the attacks in Iran and the US has “pretty clear intel,” the source was quoted as saying, according to reports.

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Iranian authorities meanwhile arrested "some individuals" that it said were related to the deadly twin bombing near the tomb of General Soleimani in the southeastern Iran, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Friday in a statement. In a state television address, Vahidi acknowledged that there were "good clues" in identifying the individuals who were involved in the deadly explosions within the Islamic Republic. More details will be provided by the intelligence authorities, said Iranian minister, adding that the state was in "full control" of the investigation into the incident that had foreign involvement.

Iran asserts that the perpetrators belonged to "terrorist circles supported by regimes that create terrorists.” The regime vowed tough actions as soon as possible against those responsible. "The enemy has, on numerous occasions, seen and experienced Iran's power," Iranian Prime Minister Ebrahim Raisi stated,adding that in connection with the “recent events, I also give the assurance that the enemy will always see Iran's power.”
 

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Published January 6th, 2024 at 11:46 IST

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