Iranian president’s casket paraded through hometown before burial

Thousands of black-clad mourners have gathered along a main boulevard in the Iranian city of Birjand to pay final respects to late president Ebrahim Raisi, who grew up in the South Khorasan town near the Afghan border.

Raisi’s casket is carried down the street on a semi-truck as mourners reach out to touch it and toss scarves and other items to be placed against it for a blessing.

A sign on the truck reads: “This is the shrine.”

The procession comes before Raisi is due to be buried later today at the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, some 370 kilometers (230 miles) north, where Shiite Islam’s 8th imam is buried.

Raisi will be the first top politician in the country to be buried at the shrine, which represents a major honor for the cleric.

Raisi was killed Sunday when his helicopter went down in bad weather. Also killed was Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six others.

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