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Funerary procession to be held for late President in Iran


Funerary procession to be held for late President in Iran

Iranians gathered on Tuesday (May 21) to mourn at the funerary procession of President Ebrahim Raisi, 63, in the northwestern city of Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan province where he died unexpectedly in a helicopter crash. The helicopter lost communication while it was on its way back to Tabriz after Raisi attended a joint inauguration of a dam with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, on their common border.

A massive search and rescue operation started Sunday afternoon when two other helicopters in Raisi's convoy lost contact with his aircraft amid harsh weather conditions in the mountainous region.

State TV early Monday broke the news of his death.

Killed alongside the Iranian president were Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, members of the provincial authorities of East Azerbaijan and his security team.

Iran's military chief of staff Mohammad Bagheri on Monday ordered a probe into the cause of the crash.

Following the confirmation of Raisi's death, international condolences poured in while people in cities across the Islamic republic gathered to mourn the late president and his companions.

Thousands of mourners holding portraits of Raisi gathered Monday at central Valiasr Square in the capital Tehran.

Five days of mourning for President
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ultimate authority in Iran, declared five days of national mourning and assigned Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber, 68, to assume interim duties ahead of elections.

State media later announced the presidential election would be held on Jun  28.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri, who served as deputy to Amir-Abdollahian, was tapped to serve as the acting foreign minister.

After leaving Tabriz, Raisi's body will arrive in Iran's Shiite clerical centre of Qom Tuesday before being moved to Tehran.

Khamenei is due to hold prayers at a farewell ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday night, ahead of major processions due to begin on Wednesday morning.

Raisi will then be taken to Southern Khorasan province on Thursday morning and later to his hometown of Mashhad, where he will be buried on Thursday evening after funerary rites.

Bangladesh declares one-day state mourning
The government has announced one-day state mourning on Thursday (May 23) at the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, said a Cabinet Division notification issued on Tuesday (May 21).

On the day, the national flag will remain at half mast atop all government, semi-government and autonomous organisations and educational institutions, all government and private buildings and Bangladesh missions abroad, it said.

Special prayers will be held at all mosques and other religious institutes on the day seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of those who died in a recent helicopter crash in mountainous terrain of East Azerbaijan province of Iran.

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