Thousands of mourners gather in Baghdad for Qasem Soleimani funeral procession

Media captionMourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad

Thousands of mourners have joined the formal funeral processions for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and six others killed in a US air strike in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump says he ordered the strike to prevent a conflict but Iran has vowed harsh retaliation, raising fears of an all-out war.

Washington has dispatched 3,000 troop reinforcements to the region.

Mourners started gathering in Baghdad from the early hours, ahead of the start of the procession, waving Iraqi and militia flags and chanting “death to America”. The procession snaked though the streets, some carrying portraits of Soleimani and some of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

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