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Major events since US killed top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani

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OVER 200 people have died since the crisis between the US and Iran started on January 3, the day Iranian top general, Qasem Soleimani, was killed by an airstrike sanctioned by President Trump. 

Following the killing of Soleimani, as many as 50 people were declared dead and at least 200 injured in a stampede during the funeral procession for the deceased general, at his hometown Kerman, in southeastern Iran.

The calamity disrupted the burial proceedings and Soleimani was buried at a later time after Iran carried out its first attack.

Iran launched dozens of missiles at two US bases in Iraq at the early hour of Wednesday,  but the US and Iraq reported that there were no casualties.

In contrast, an Iranian news agency headquartered in Tehran, Mehr, claimed that an informed source at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) confirmed that 80 “American terrorist troops” were killed and some 200 others, wounded.

On Wednesday, another tragedy struck as about 176 passengers and 9 crew members were confirmed dead after a Ukraine International Airlines plane bound for Kiev crashed few minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport in Iran.

Although the Ukrainian embassy attributed the Boeing 737 jet crash to engine failure, it has since reversed itself as investigations are still being carried out to determine the real cause of the mishap. The crash, according to a tweet by Ukrainian foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko,  claimed the lives of 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedish, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britains.

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Iran has since announced that it would not be releasing the black box of the crashed plane to Boeing, the airplane maker. The Guardian reports that the black box, a vital object that contains information of how the plane crashed, has been located in the field amongst the debris of the plane outside Tehran.

As tension grows and the world watches what could possibly be the start of war, as former vice president Joe Biden said in a statement, many countries have called for restraint between Iran and the US. Some have withdrawn troops from volatile areas.

In the advent of the brewing crisis, countries that operate commercial airlines have also halted flying operations in Iran and Iraq airspace, noted as steps taken to protect their citizens from imploding danger.

In fear of the possible outcome if the two countries continue on the path of war, the EU commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has issued a statement demanding that the use of weapons be ceased so that there can be room for dialogue.

 

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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