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Shiite clergyman shot dead in Iran. Protests more and more violent

Shiite clergyman shot dead in Iran. Protests more and more violent

Sajjad Shahraki, a Shiite clergyman and leader of Friday prayers at a mosque in Zahedan city in Sistan-Baluchestan province, was shot and killed by armed men, the state-run IRNA news agency reported, citing the provincial police chief.

Authorities in the Iranian city of Zahedan fired the police chiefas well as the commander of the post, which is close to the place where dozens of people were killed after the outbreak of protests in late September.

Armed dissidents at the time provoked clashes that resulted in the death of innocent people, according to a statement from the state security agency IRNA circulated by the state-owned agency IRNA, cited by Reuters. However, this statement was confirmed “shortcomings” of the policewhich was the reason for his dismissal.

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Amnesty International believes that security forces killed at least 66 people in Zehdan on September 30 during a brutal crackdown on demonstrators, in the bloodiest event in the weeks of protests in weeks.

Protests in Iran have been going on since mid-September. They broke out after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested by the morality police. After being arrested for “inappropriate headgear”, the woman fell into a coma under unclear circumstances and died in hospital. According to Amini’s family, she was beaten by officers. The Zehdan massacre was the bloodiest incident to date during the protests.

Since the outbreak of the protests, Iranian security forces have been using both live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrators. According to human rights organizations, more than 200 people died as a result of these actions. It is estimated that thousands of protesters were arrested.

Political scientists estimate that these demonstrations are the most serious challenge for the regime since the wave of protests and riots that swept the country in 2009.

Sources: Reuters, PAP

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