Iran: Death toll rises as protests intensify

i24NEWS - AFP/Reuters

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Demonstrators gathering around a burning barricade during a protest for Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police," in Tehran, Iran, on September 19, 2022.
AFPDemonstrators gathering around a burning barricade during a protest for Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police," in Tehran, Iran, on September 19, 2022.

Protests spread to 15 cities across Iran over the death of the young woman Mahsa Amini after police arrest

Iranian authorities said Wednesday that three people, including a member of the security forces, were killed during unrest sweeping the country, as anger at the death of a woman in police custody fueled protests for a fifth day.

Rights groups reported at least one more person was killed on Tuesday, which would take the death toll to at least eight.

Protests spread to 15 cities across Iran overnight over the death of the young woman Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the country's morality police. On the fifth night of street rallies, police used tear gas and made arrests to disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people, the official IRNA news agency said.

A video circulating on social media allegedly showed the protesters setting a police officer on fire. They also blockaded streets, hurled stones at security forces, set fire to police vehicles and garbage bins, and chanted anti-government slogans, it added. 

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Public anger has been flaring since authorities Friday announced the death of 22-year-old Amini, after her arrest by the morality police responsible for enforcing a strict dress code for women.

Amini had fallen into a coma after being detained for wearing a hijab headscarf in an "improper" way, state media has reported. Many Iranian women have taken off their headscarves in protest and recorded videos on social media showing them cutting their hair.

Rallies were held overnight in the capital Tehran and other major cities, including Mashhad in the northeast, Tabriz in the northwest, Rasht in the north, Isfahan in the center, and Shiraz in the south.

Ismail Zarei Koosha, the governor of Kurdistan - Amini's home province where the protests started - said on Tuesday that three people had been killed during protests in the province, without specifying when.

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