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Iranian State TV claims 9 people killed during fifth day of protests

Iranian state TV claims: 9 people killed during  fifth day of protests

Nine people were killed overnight during the fifth day of anti-government protests that have spread across the country, Radio Free Europe quoted Iranian state television as claiming on Tuesday. 

No further details were immediately available.

The report brings the unofficial number of dead from the unrest, which started out as rallies against high inflation for basic food products and other economic woes, to at least 22.

The protests are the largest political demonstrations in Iran since a disputed presidential vote in 2009 officially reelected Mahmud Ahmadinejad. They have been taking place in dozens of towns and cities throughout Iran, including several places in the capital, Tehran.

Video posted on social media showed demonstrators attacking a police station in the central town of Qahderijan.

State TV reported 10 demonstrators had been killed along with one policeman on January 1. It said three other police had been injured in the incident in the western-central city of Najafabad, in Isfahan governorate.

Numerous videos showed some crowds of people chanting "Death to the dictator!" walking through the streets of Tehran.



A video showed security forces using water cannons to disperse protesters in Tehran, on the central Ferdowsi Square.

Other social-media videos from different Iranian cities showed clashes with security forces and a police station set alight. Crowds of marching protesters were shown shouting slogans against mullahs and other religious figures in the country.

Some demonstrators were seen tearing down huge street banners of Mullahs’ leader Khamenei, who has ruled Iran since 1989.

Two protesters were reported killed in the city of Dorud on December 30.

The demonstrations, which started out as rallies against high inflation for basic food products and other economic woes, began on December 28 in Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad.

Other cities where demonstrations have taken place include Sanandaj, Ilam, Khoramdareh, Kermanshah, Izeh, and Tuyserkan, where at least two protesters were reported killed.

Iran's President Hassan Rohani has said the unrest is an opportunity to address problems plaguing Iran.

Speaking after a meeting with the heads of parliamentary committees on January 1, Rouhani said the protests are not only related to economics but a cry from citizens for more freedom.

The unrest "may seem to be a threat, but it can be turned into an opportunity to see what the problem is," he said.

He added that "we have no problem bigger than unemployment. Our economy needs an operation."

The previous day, Rouhani had warned demonstrators about violence during a nationwide address, after security service vehicles and other public property was destroyed or damaged.

"The government will show no tolerance for those who damage public property, violate public order, and create unrest in society," he said.

Authorities have attempted to quell the unrest, which has been marked by crowds of hundreds or thousands of younger Iranians chanting anti-government slogans and tearing up pro-government posters, and have arrested at least 400 demonstrators, officials said.

Last Modified: Tuesday، 02 January 2018 12:04 PM