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Iranians mourn president Raisi’s death – World

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People pray on a square in Tehran, Iran, May 20, 2024. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Iran’s foreign minister died in a helicopter incident, according to local media. [Photo/Xinhua]

Millions of Iranians are mourning the tragic news of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who has been confirmed dead after hours of challenging search and rescue efforts, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.

Raisi died when the helicopter he was in crashed on Monday morning amid bad weather in the northwestern East Azerbaijan province. The tragedy also claimed the lives of eight other top Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan’s Governor Malek Rahmati, and the Friday prayers leader Tabriz Mohammad Ali Ale-Hasehem, according to Mehr. A similar report was filed by Al Jazeera quoting a senior official from Iran.

IRIB TV and other local TV stations have broadcast images of mourning Iranians gathering as the footage of the helicopter wreckage went live, with no survivors found at the site.

Earlier, Pir-Hossein Kolivand, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent, told the media that the rescuers at the site of the crash said there “are no signs of survivors on the site” and the entire cabin of the helicopter “is significantly damaged and burned”.

Many local people had been praying for the safety of the president since Sunday evening. Official arrangements for the mourning are yet to be announced.

The international community, including China and most countries in the Middle East, had expressed deep concerns about the fate of the president.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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