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Iraqis mourn over a coffin during the funeral procession of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, and eight others, in Kadhimiya, a Shiite pilgrimage district of Baghdad, on January 4, 2020. - Thousands of Iraqis chanting "Death to America" joined the funeral procession Saturday for Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US air strike. The cortege set off around Kadhimiya, a Shiite pilgrimage district of Baghdad, before heading to the Green Zone government and diplomatic di

In pictures: Iraqis, Palestinians join Iran in honouring Soleimani, others killed in US air strike

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and militia commander Hadi al-Amiri attend funeral procession in Baghdad.

Updated Jan 06, 2020 11:37am

Tens of thousands of people from across Iraq and Palestine joined Iran on Saturday in honouring the death of Iran's military commander Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and others who were killed a day earlier in a US drone strike.

Soleimani, a 62-year-old general, was Iran's most prominent military commander and the architect of its spreading influence in the Middle East. Muhandis was the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) umbrella body of paramilitary groups.

Iranians young and old thronged the streets across Iran, waving national flags and breaking into mass chants of "I am Soleimani" as they mourned his killing.

“I don't feel safe anymore. He was a hero. I am not a religious or pro-regime woman,” said Shahnaz Milaninia, 61, a resident of an affluent Tehran district when contacted by Reuters.

“But I respect Soleimani. He sacrificed his life in order to protect us.”

In Iraq, an elaborate funeral procession organised by the PMF was held in Baghdad.

The procession began in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, moving towards the Shia holy city of Kerbala and ending in the Shia holy city of Najaf where Muhandis and the other Iraqis killed will be buried.

Soleimani's body will be transferred to the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan that borders Iraq, then on Sunday to the Shia holy city of Mashhad in the northeast and from there to the capital Tehran and on to his hometown Kerman in the southeast for burial on Tuesday, Iranian state media reported.

Marchers waved Iraqi and militia flags in a sombre atmosphere, with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and Iraqi militia commander Hadi al-Amiri, a close Iran ally and the top candidate to succeed Muhandis, attending the procession.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip also mourned the death of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander.

Leaders of the Hamas group, which rules Gaza, and of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad faction, both backed by Iran, joined mourners at a tent erected in Soleimani's honour in the heart of Gaza City.

Flags of the United States and Israel were laid on the ground for visitors to tread on as they entered, passing murals of Soleimani. The flags were later set on fire.

“We are loyal to those who stood with the resistance and with Palestine and we hold the US administration and the Zionist occupation fully responsible for the consequences of this deplorable crime,” said Ismail Radwan, a Hamas official.


IRAN

Protesters demonstrate over the US airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — AP
Protesters demonstrate over the US airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — AP

Iranians gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
Iranians gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

Iranian poilcemen gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — WANA via Reuters
Iranian poilcemen gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — WANA via Reuters

A billboard bearing a portrait of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (L) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis hangs on a main road in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP
A billboard bearing a portrait of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (L) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis hangs on a main road in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP

Cars drive past a mural painted on the wall of a building showing an anti US slogan in the capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP
Cars drive past a mural painted on the wall of a building showing an anti US slogan in the capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP

A billboard bearing a portrait of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, hangs on a main road in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP
A billboard bearing a portrait of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, hangs on a main road in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP

A pedestrian walks past banners showing a portrait of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike early Friday in Iraq, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — AP
A pedestrian walks past banners showing a portrait of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike early Friday in Iraq, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — AP

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on Saturday, shows President Hassan Rouhani offering his condolences to the son of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran. — AFP
A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on Saturday, shows President Hassan Rouhani offering his condolences to the son of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran. — AFP

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on Saturday, shows President Hassan Rouhani (2nd-R) offering his condolences to the family of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran. — AFP
A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on Saturday, shows President Hassan Rouhani (2nd-R) offering his condolences to the family of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran. — AFP

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on Saturday, shows President Hassan Rouhani (L) offering his condolences to a family member of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran. — AFP
A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on Saturday, shows President Hassan Rouhani (L) offering his condolences to a family member of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran. — AFP

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the family of the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed by an air strike in Baghdad, at his home in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — Reuters
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the family of the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed by an air strike in Baghdad, at his home in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. — Reuters

A billboard bearing a portrait of the supreme leader of the Islamic republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L), kissing slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani dominates a main road in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP
A billboard bearing a portrait of the supreme leader of the Islamic republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L), kissing slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani dominates a main road in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday. — AFP


IRAQ

Iraqi mourners react as they wait for the funeral procession of slain Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (portraits) and eight others outside the Imam Abbas mosque in the Iraqi central city of Karbala. — AFP
Iraqi mourners react as they wait for the funeral procession of slain Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (portraits) and eight others outside the Imam Abbas mosque in the Iraqi central city of Karbala. — AFP

A handout picture released by Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force shows a scene from the funeral procession for slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (portrait) just outside Baghdad's high-security Green Zone on Saturday. — AFP
A handout picture released by Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force shows a scene from the funeral procession for slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (portrait) just outside Baghdad's high-security Green Zone on Saturday. — AFP

Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, killed alongside Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US air strike, during a funeral procession in Kadhimiya, a Shia pilgrimage district of Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP
Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, killed alongside Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US air strike, during a funeral procession in Kadhimiya, a Shia pilgrimage district of Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP

Iraqis mourn over a coffin during the funeral procession of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,  Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, and eight others, in Kadhimiya, Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP
Iraqis mourn over a coffin during the funeral procession of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, and eight others, in Kadhimiya, Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP

Mourners wave a flag bearing the portraits of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the late Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, during a funeral procession, for Soleimani and nine others, in Kadhimiya, Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP
Mourners wave a flag bearing the portraits of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the late Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, during a funeral procession, for Soleimani and nine others, in Kadhimiya, Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP

Mohammed al-Tabatabai (C), deputy Secretary General of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq faction, attends the funeral of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, in Kadhimiya, Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP
Mohammed al-Tabatabai (C), deputy Secretary General of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq faction, attends the funeral of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, in Kadhimiya, Baghdad, on Saturday. — AFP

Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attend the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (portrait) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (portrait) in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP
Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attend the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani (portrait) and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (portrait) in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP

Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attend the funeral procession in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP
Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attend the funeral procession in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP

Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attending the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (portrait) in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP
Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attending the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (portrait) in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP

A supporter of Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attends the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP
A supporter of Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attends the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP

Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attend the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP
Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and Iraq's Hezbollah brigades attend the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on Saturday. — AFP

Mourners carry the coffins of slain Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and eight others inside the Shrine of Imam Husain in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala. — AFP
Mourners carry the coffins of slain Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and eight others inside the Shrine of Imam Husain in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala. — AFP


PALESTINE

A Palestinian man carries a poster of Qasem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in front of a mourning tent put up by Palestinian factions in Gaza City, Saturday. — AP
A Palestinian man carries a poster of Qasem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in front of a mourning tent put up by Palestinian factions in Gaza City, Saturday. — AP

Palestinians attend a mourning ceremony held by Palestinian factions for Qasem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force, who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in Gaza City, Saturday. — AP
Palestinians attend a mourning ceremony held by Palestinian factions for Qasem Soleimani, the Iran's head of the Quds Force, who was killed in a US drone strike early Friday, in Gaza City, Saturday. — AP