In Baghdad, thousands of people are taking part in a funeral procession for the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis. The two leaders were killed on Friday in an American drone attack.
Soleimani was Iran’s foremost military leader and the brain behind the country’s growing influence in the Middle East. Al Muhandis was the second man of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella Iraqi militia group.
The funeral procession is organized by the PMF and is attended by, among others, the Iraqi interim prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
The funeral procession began on Saturday at the heavily secured Green Zone neighborhood in Baghdad, where many diplomats and expats live. At the end of the route the bodies are transferred to the holy Shiite city of Najaf, where militia leader Al Muhandis and the six other victims of the attack are buried.
Soleimani is then flown to Tehran, where his official funeral takes place.
United States and Iraq deny new air attack
In the meantime, the PMF reports that six people died in an attack on a medical convoy near the Iraqi camp Taji. Three others are said to have been injured.
Both the US and the Iraqi army later reported that they had not carried out this attack. The Iraqi army stated that the attack had not taken place.