TEHRAN: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday led prayers in the funeral of slain military commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in a US drone strike.
The prayers in Tehran by led Khamenei, who was flanked by officials including President Hassan Rouhani, were part of a state funeral.
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State television showed large crowds attending the funeral. Mourners packed the streets of Tehran for ceremonies to pay homage to the slain general.
Clutching portraits of their hero, the crowd had gathered on the outskirts of Tehran University.
In freezing early morning temperatures, women in black walked alongside men holding up flags bearing the names of Shia imams as they walked down Enghelab (Revolution) Street towards the university.
The procession was broadcast live on state television, with screens bearing a black ribbon across the top left hand corner in a rare tribute.
Soleimani, who spearheaded Iran’s Middle East operations as commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, was killed in a US drone strike on Friday near Baghdad airport. He was 62.
The attack was ordered by President Donald Trump, who said the Quds commander had been planning an “imminent” attack on US diplomats and forces in Iraq.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “severe revenge” and declared three days of mourning.