More than a dozen people have been killed in the violence that has followed a series of peaceful demonstrations against economic woes in a number of Iranian cities.
Several towns in the central Isfahan Province were the scene of unrest and sporadic clashes on Monday night, IRIB reported. In Qahderijan, six people were killed after they engaged in clashes with security forces while attempting to storm a police station. Separately, armed rioters killed an 11-year-old boy and injured his father in Khomeinishahr as the family was passing by the scene of the scuffles. Elsewhere, in Kahriz Sang, the assailants armed with shotguns targeted two security guards, killing one of them and wounding the other.
Meanwhile, in the city of Takestan in northern Qazvin Province, the rioters raided the seminary center and the office of the Friday Prayers’ leader and Islamic advertising. They broke the buildings’ windows, damaged public property and set fire to a car and three motorbikes. The turmoil in Takestan ended after police intervened. On the contrary, the Iranian capital, Tehran, was mostly calm after two nights of clashes. In downtown Tehran, a small group chanted slogans but were scattered. According to Iranian officials, a total of seven people were killed during the spate of violence on Saturday and Sunday, including three in Hamadan, two in Izeh and two more in Lorestan. In another incident in Lorestan’s Doroud on Sunday, a father and his son lost their lives when their car was hit by a fire truck stolen by the rioters.
On Thursday, people in several Iranian cities, including Mashhad, held peaceful gatherings to criticize price hikes, unemployment and unauthorized credit institutions. Shortly afterwards, those gatherings, which had been organized without official permits, turned violent as a group of participants began to launch attacks on public property and armed elements showed up among ordinary people in some areas. President Hassan Rouhani has vowed that the nation will deal with a “small and minority group” of rioters and lawbreakers exploiting the protests against economic conditions.