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Funeral of Iran's Soleimani postponed after dozens killed in stampede

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By Alexander Smith with NBC News World News
Image: Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of slai
Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of slain top general Qassem Soleimani during the final stage of funeral processions in his hometown of Kerman on Jan. 7, 2020.   -   Copyright  Atta Kenare
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The funeral of Qassem Soleimani, the top Iranian commander killed in an American airstrike, was postponed on Tuesday after upward of two dozen people died in a stampede crush, emergency services told state media.

The streets were packed for Soleimani's final funeral procession in his hometown of Kerman, one day after hundreds of thousands of mourners turned out for a similar procession in the capital, Tehran.

Pirhossein Koulivand, the head of Iran's emergency medical services, told state TV that at least 32 people had died and 190 were injured in the stampede, according to a report from The Associated Press.

Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency said the burial had been postponed following the deaths.

Iran has promised to avenge the death of Soleimani, who was head of the Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He was killed last week in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad airport.

This is a developing story — check back for updates soon.