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Thousands of Iranians surround late president's coffin as 5-day mourning starts

Mourners on May. 21 try to touch the coffins of Iranian President (top), Foreign Minister (left), and the late president's bodyguard who were killed in a helicopter crash.   -  
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Ata Dadashi/AP


Thousands of Iranians began gathering Tuesday (May. 21) for 5 days of public mourning.

A vehicle driving slowly through the northwestern City of Tabriz, carried the bodies of late president Ebrahim Raisi, the Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, a senior cleric, a Revolutionary Guard official and three crew members.

Tabriz is the closest major city to the site of Sunday's helicopter crash that killed all eight men.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in the theocracy, named, as the law provides, the first vice president as interim leader.

He expressed condolences to the families of victims

The presidential election is set to be held on June 28.

The government on Monday announced an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Iran has offered no cause for the crash. The helicopter fell in mountainous terrain in a sudden, intense fog.

After processions across the country, the late president is set to be buried at his birthplace (Mashhad), on Thursday (May.23).

Raisi, 63, was viewed as a protege of Khamenei.

The president's body would be transferred to his birthplace Mashhad, where his funeral will be held on Thursday.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei expressed condolences to the families of victims.

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