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VIDEO: Mourners carry coffin of Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi at funeral ceremony in Qom

Mourners in black began gathering Tuesday for days of funerals and processions for Iran's late president, foreign minister and others killed in a helicopter crash.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Qom Updated on: May 21, 2024 23:07 IST
Iranian soldiers carrying the coffin of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi
Image Source : AP Iranian soldiers carrying the coffin of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Mourners carried the coffin of Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi at a funeral ceremony in Qom on Tuesday after he was killed in a helicopter crash near the Azerbaijan border at the weekend along with his foreign minister and seven others.

Thousands of Iranians turned out to mourn Raisi in the holy Shi'ite Muslim city with some carrying pictures of the president and waving Iran's flag.

Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed when his helicopter crashed in poor weather in the mountains, officials and state media said on Monday (May 20).

From Qom, Raisi's body will return to the capital to lie at Tehran's Grand Mosalla Mosque before being transferred to his hometown of Mashhad, in eastern Iran, for burial on Thursday (May 23).

The events are a government-led series of ceremonies aimed at both honouring the dead and projecting strength in an unsettled Middle East.

Mass demonstrations in Iran

For Iran's Shiite theocracy, mass demonstrations have been crucial since millions thronged the streets of Tehran to welcome Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution and also attended his funeral 10 years later.

An estimated 1 million turned out in 2020 for processions for the late Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was slain in a US drone strike in Baghdad. Whether President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and others draw the same crowd remains in question.

Prosecutors already have warned people over showing any public signs of celebrating his death and a heavy security force presence has been seen on the streets of Tehran since the crash.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Iran: Funeral services for late President Raisi begin, thousands mourn hardline leader

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