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Two killed during protests in Iran; 80 detained in one city


By Marilia Brocchetto, CNN

(CNN) -- Two people were killed during protests in Doroud city, in the Lorestan province of western Iran, according to semi-official news agency Mehr News.

On Sunday, Mehr news quoted Habibollah Khojastehpour, the deputy governor of Lorestan, as confirming the deaths but denying security forces were to blame.

Several videos circulated on social media showed various people injured during protests in the city. The videos purportedly showed injured people lying on the ground and being carried away from the protest, as well as being treated in a local hospital. In some of the video, gunshots can be heard.

CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.

One local source told CNN on Saturday that during protests in the city, his family witnessed a mob storming the governor's office and setting it on fire. Protesters were fired upon and five people were shot, the source said.

According to Mehr, Khojastehpour added that fire was not directed toward or into the crowds by the military, security or police forces.

"Clashes occurred with individuals who had taken to the streets, heeding calls by the enemies of the system, " Khojastehpour is quoted as saying. "The objective was to conclude this gathering peacefully but given the presence of the aforementioned individuals and groups, this tragedy unfortunately occurred that resulted in the killing of two individuals who were present at the clashes."

Iran will 'confront' disorder

After three days of protests, Interior Minister Rahmani Fazli issued a warning that the government will confront any use of social media that leads to "disorder."

Fazli's comments on Sunday were published by multiple state media outlets.

The interior minister also reiterated that any public gatherings require applications for permits and permission, else they're deemed illegal.

Various protesters arrested

On Saturday, 80 people were detained in the nearby city of Arak, according to a government official, as reported by Mehr news agency.

"A number of individuals intended to enter into and damage government locations," the government official, who was not identified by Mehr, is quoted as saying. The official added that protesters were not able to enter the government buildings, "and the city is under control."

Mehr added that at least three people were lightly injured.

In a rare display of public dissent, some protesters directed their ire at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, according to some videos on social media. CNN has not independently verified the authenticity of the footage.

One resident told CNN of witnessing a protester tearing down a poster of Khamenei near Tehran University on Saturday.

In Tehran, protesters have been temporarily arrested for participating in "illegal demonstrations," according to Mohsen Hamadani, Tehran deputy governor in charge of security affairs, as reported by the semi-official ILNA news organization.

Not since 2009

The protests throughout the country -- described as the largest public display of discontent since the 2009 Green Movement in Iran -- have emerged against a backdrop of rising food and gasoline prices.

Demonstrations began Thursday in the northeastern city of Mashhad before spreading to other cities. They included Tehran, Kermanshah, Arak, Qazvin, Khorramabad, Karaj and Sabzevar, according to official news agency IRNA, citing First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri.

The-CNN-Wire
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