A protest rally was held in Kargil town of Ladakh on Friday against the killing of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike by the United States at Baghdad’s international airport, Scroll.in has learnt. Kargil is dominated by Shia Muslims, Iran’s majority community.
A government employee in Kargil, who did not want to be identified, said around 1,000 people attended the protest, chanting slogans against the United States and Israel. The rally was called by two major Shia organisations in Kargil – the Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust and the Islamia School.
The protests were peaceful and lasted for an hour, the government official said. People living around Kargil town also joined in the demonstrations.
In an official statement on Friday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs urged restraint while expressing concern over the killing of Soleimani. Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike ordered by United States President Donald Trump, according to the Pentagon.
“We have noted that a senior Iranian leader has been killed by the US,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. “The increase in tension [between the US and Iran] has alarmed the world. Peace, stability and security in this [West Asia] region is of utmost importance to India. It is vital that the situation does not escalate further.”
Earlier on Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei named Esmail Qaani, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm, as Soleimani’s replacement. He also vowed revenge for Soleimani’s killing.