9 more killed in nationwide protests, unrest

02 January, 2018, 11:36 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Video
          'Most violent' night of Iranian protests

In the latest development, state TV reported that six rioters were killed during an attack on a police station in the town of Qahdarijan when they tried to steal guns from the facility.

At least 16 people, including a police officer, have been killed in anti-government protests across Iran, officials said.

This puts the death toll to at least 20 people following six days of demonstrations. All were reportedly shot by hunting rifles.

An Iranian lawmaker says two more protesters have been killed and others wounded during a demonstration in the southwest amid nationwide protests over the government's handling of the economy. Other videos have shown protesters peacefully demonstrating and welcoming police.

Some demonstrators were seen tearing down huge street banners of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, who has ruled Iran since 1989.

The protests began Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities.

"We should avoid putting the country in a situation the enemies can take advantage of", Rouhani said following a cabinet meeting. "Our economy needs an operation". Hundreds of people have been arrested and a prominent judge on Tuesday warned that some could face death penalty trials.

Iran's Revolutionary Court handles cases involving alleged attempts to overthrow the government.

Likewise, the Basij militia - which along with the IRGC led the crackdown against the 2009 protests that left dozens dead - has thus far appeared to stay away from the demonstrations.

That improvement has not reached the average Iranian, however.

Tear gas appeared to have been fired at protesters at the University of Tehran
Video What is causing the unrest in Iran

The protests were fanned in part by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which authorities blocked on Sunday along with Instagram.

US President Donald Trump has tweeted in support of the protesters, writing: "The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years".

The European Union on Monday pushed Iran to guarantee the right to protest and separately British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said "the United Kingdom is watching events in Iran closely".

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on January 1 that the unrest was "Iran's internal affair", adding that any "external interference destabilizing the situation is inadmissible".

This is the first report of a police officer being killed during five days of protests and raises the total number of dead to 13.

'We regret the loss of life that has occurred in the protests in Iran, and call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for worldwide obligations on human rights to be observed, ' he said.

He said that "we appeal to the Iranian government to respect the rights of demonstrators to assemble and raise their voice freely and peacefully".

Israel's prime minister wishes protesters in Iran "success in their noble quest for freedom".

Iranian state television said people were killed by security forces during clashes Sunday night. "They have nothing to be happy about", said Sarita Mohammadi, a 35-year-old teacher in Tehran.

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