Ceremonies to honor the general killed by the United States begin in Ahvaz of Iran

TEHERAN: Ceremonies in honor of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, who died in an American air strike in Baghdad , began Sunday in Ahvaz, where his remains came from Iraq.

State television began a live show that shows thousands of people dressed in black gathered in the southwestern city of Iran.

The images showed crowds gathered in Mollavi Square with flags in green, white and red, representing the blood of the martyrs.

Up portraits of the general, seen as a hero of the Iran-Iraq war 1980-88 and for leading the operations of Iran in the Middle East as head of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards.

Men and women cried as they beat their chests with the sound of Shia Muslim songs.

Aerial images showed a tide of mourners crowded in Mollavi Square and surrounding streets in the center of Ahvaz, a city of 1.3 million people.

The semi-official news agency ISNA said the remains of Soleimani had arrived at Ahvaz airport before dawn.

They are expected to be transferred to the Iranian capital to receive more taxes on Sunday night.

On Monday, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is expected to pray for his remains at the University of Tehran before a procession.

His remains should be brought to the holy city of Qom for a ceremony at the shrine of Masumeh before a funeral in his hometown of Kerman on Tuesday.