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Iran: Death toll rises to 16 in protests across the country

2nd Jan 2018
Iran: Death toll rises to 16 in protests across the country

By Narges Rezai, Mustafa Melih Ahishali, Khalilur Rahman Salahshoor

 

ISTANBUL (AA): At least 16 people, including a police officer, have been killed in anti-government protests across Iran, officials said Monday.

At least five people were killed Monday in protests in Isfahan province, according to Iran’s state-run Asriran news agency.

One police officer was killed and three others injured during protests in Najafabad city near Isfahan.

According to Iran-based news outlet the Young Journalists Club, a protester opened fire on police officers with a shotgun, wounding four at the scene. One of the officers succumbed to his wounds.

Lawmaker Hedayatollah Khademi said two people were killed in Izeh town in Khuzestan province Sunday night, the Iranian Labour News Agency reported.

In addition, 377 people have been arrested during the protests, including 200 in the capital Tehran. The other arrests were reported in the cities of Arak, Isfahan and Robat Karim and West Azerbaijan province.

Thousands of Iranians hit the streets Thursday in the northeastern cities of Mashhad and Kashmar to protest rising commodity prices and perceived government mismanagement, according to local media reports.

Thursday’s protests were followed by pro-government protests Saturday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday warned Iranians against the ongoing anti-government protests across the country.

“It should be clear to everyone that we are a free nation and, based on the constitution and citizenship rights, people are completely free in expressing criticisms and even their protests, but at the same time, we must pay attention to the way in which criticism and protest should be made to lead to better conditions for the country and people’s live,” the President said follwoing a weekly Cabinet meeting.

“The solution to some of these issues is not easy and it is time-consuming, and the government and the nation must join hands in solving these problems,” the President emphasized.

“The government and people must join hands and help each other, but people’s criticism is not just about the economy, but rather they have things to say about corruption and transparency and say that things should be transparent,” Dr. Rouhani added

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump came in support of the protesters.

“Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!” Trump said in two tweets. “The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most….”

Additional Report by The Muslim News

[Photo: President of Iran Hassan Rouhani (C) addresses during the cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran on December 31, 2017. First Vice President of Iran Eshaq Jahangiri (L) also attended the meeting. Photographer: Iranian Presidency / Handout/AA]

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