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Thousands at funeral for IRGC officer killed in suspected Israeli attack

Mourners gather around a truck carrying the flag draped coffin of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei who was killed on Sunday, in his funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Mourners gather around a truck carrying the flag draped coffin of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei who was killed on Sunday, in his funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

Thousands of mourners have poured into the streets of Tehran on Tuesday to pay their respects to a senior Revolutionary Guard member fatally shot by two gunmen on a motorcycle earlier this week, punching the air with their fists and chanting “Death to Israel.”

The killing on Sunday of Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei bore the hallmarks of previous deadly shooting attacks in Iran blamed on Israel, such as those targeting the country’s nuclear scientists.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack. Iranian officials have blamed “global arrogance,” which is code for the United States and Israel, for Khodaei’s killing.

Mourners shout anti-US and anti-Israel slogans as the funeral procession snakes through the main Tehran cemetery. A prominent poster hails Khodaei as a martyr along with Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the top Iranian general killed in a US drone strike in 2020 in Iraq, and featured tattered Israeli, American and British flags.

Mourners hold posters of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei during his funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

“Iran is a victim of terrorism,” the banner declares, overlaid with the logos of the Mossad and Central Intelligence Agency.

Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami as well as Gen. Esmail Ghaani, leader of Iran’s expeditionary Quds Force, attend the funeral.

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