NewsSpecial WireClashes reported in southern Iran city

Clashes reported in southern Iran city

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jul. 25 – Clashes erupted between protesters and security forces in the southern city of Ahwaz Sunday night after the authorities tried to prevent anti-government demonstrations from escalating. A number of police vehicles and state banks were set on fire, according to eye-witness reports. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 25 – Clashes erupted between protesters and security forces in the southern city of Ahwaz Sunday night after the authorities tried to prevent anti-government demonstrations from escalating. A number of police vehicles and state banks were set on fire, according to eye-witness reports.

Witnesses said heavy clashes broke out in the district of Shilang-Abad and soon spread to Lashkar-Abad, Panj Tabaqeh, Mashali, Kian-Pars, Kut-Abdollah, Khashayar, and Zarqan regions.

Dozens of people were reportedly killed in week-long clashes between mainly ethnic Arab protesters and security forces in Ahwaz and several other cities in Iran’s southern Khuzistan province in April. The strategic area contains much of Iran’s oilfields.

On Sunday, demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans and demanded an end to the government’s “ethnic cleansing” policy. Anti-riot policemen and plainclothes security agents attacked the protesters with truncheons and detained many of them, according to eye witnesses. Angry people attacked a number of State Security Forces vehicles and freed some of the detainees. Protesters barricaded several streets with burning car tyres.

As clashes spread, a number of state-owned bank branches, including Bank Melli Kian, were set on fire. In Kuy Enghelab, security forces fired live rounds and injured several demonstrators.

Clashes also occurred between protesters and security forces on Saturday.

Ahwaz is presently under undeclared martial law, according to residents, who reported heavy police presence in the mainly Arab neighbourhoods of the city.

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