Gunfire, blasts in western Iran amid Mahsa Amini protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The sound of gunfire and explosions clearly reverberated early Monday through the streets of a western Iranian city, one of the hotspots of protests. about the death of a 22-year-old woman. Activists say at least one man was killed by security forces in a nearby village.
The incident comes as protests take place in cities, towns and villages across Iran over the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s ethics police in Tehran.
The Iranian government insists Amini was not mistreated, but her family says her body has bruises and other signs of beatings. Subsequent videos showed security forces beating and shoving female protesters, including women who had ripped off their mandatory headscarves or headscarves.
From Tehran and elsewhere, online videos have emerged despite authorities disrupting the internet. Videos showed some women marching through the streets without headscarves, while others confronted authorities and set fires in the streets as protests continued into their fourth week. The protests represent one of the biggest challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the 2009 Green Movement protests.
Violence early Monday occurred in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province, as well as in the village Salas Babajani near the border with Iraq, according to a Kurdish group called the Hengaw Human Rights Foundation. Amini is Kurdish and her death was felt especially in the Kurdish region of Iran, where protests began on September 17 at her funeral there.
Hengaw posted footage of what was described as smoke rising over a neighborhood in Sanandaj, with what sounded like rapid rifle shots echoing through the night sky. Everyone’s screams could be heard.
There were no immediate words if people were hurt in the riot. Hengaw later posted an online video of what appeared to be collected from rifle and shotgun shells, as well as used tear gas canisters.
Authorities offered no immediate explanation for the violence early Monday in Sanandaj, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Tehran. Esmail Zarei Koushagovernor of Iran’s Kurdistan province, allegedly failed to provide evidence that unidentified groups “conspired to kill young people on the streets” on Saturday, the Fars news agency reported on Monday.
Kousha also accused the unnamed groups that day of shooting a young man in the head and killing him – an attack that activists have blamed on Iranian security forces. They say Iranian forces opened fire after the man honked his car at them. Horns have become one of the ways activists show civil disobedience – an act that has seen riot police in other videos smash the windshields of passing vehicles. .
In the village of Salas Babajani, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the capital Sanandaj, Iranian security forces repeatedly shot a 22-year-old man protesting there, who later died of his wounds. his, Hengaw said. It said others were injured in the shooting.
It remains unclear how many people were killed during the protests and the crackdown by security forces on them. State television last reported that at least 41 people had been killed in protests as of September 24. In more than two weeks since then, there have been no updates from the Iranian government.
An Oslo-based group, Iranian Human Rights, estimated at least 185 people were killed. This number is estimated to have been about 90 people killed in violence in the city of Zahedan, eastern Iran.
The group is based in London Amnesty International said security forces killed 66 people, including children, in a bloody crackdown on September 30, and many more were killed in the area in subsequent incidents. Iranian authorities described the violence in Zahedan involving unnamed separatists, without providing details or evidence.
Meanwhile, a prison riot broke out in the city of Rasht, killing several inmates there, a prosecutor said. It remains unclear whether the riots at Lakan Prison are related to the ongoing protests, although Rasht has seen mass protests in recent weeks since Amini’s death. .
The semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Gilan Provincial prosecutor Mehdi Fallah Miri said, “several inmates died from their injuries when the electricity was cut off (at the prison) because of the damage.” He also accused inmates of refusing to allow authorities access to the injured.
Miri describes the riot that broke out in one wing of the prison holding death row inmates.


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