Statue of Iran’s Soleimani torched hours after its unveiling

A statue erected to honor slain top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani has been torched by unknown assailants hours after it was unveiled, Iranian media reports.

Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was killed on January 3, 2020, in Iraq in a US drone strike at Baghdad airport along with his Iraqi lieutenant and others.

Yesterday morning, a statue to honor him was unveiled in the southwestern Iranian city of Shahrekord.

But in the evening it was set on fire, ISNA news agency says, calling it a “shameful act by unknown individuals.”

“This treacherous crime was carried out in darkness, just like the other crime committed at night at Baghdad airport” when Soleimani was killed, senior Muslim cleric Mohammad Ali Nekounam says in a statement carried by ISNA.

Iranian authorities have unveiled several sculptures dedicated to Soleimani since his assassination two years ago, and portraits of the revered commander dot the landscape across Iran.

State broadcaster IRIB condemns the latest attack as an “insulting” act that comes as Iran marks the second anniversary of Soleimani’s killing, with several events in recent days.

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