Iran plays down violent protests despite mounting death toll

Video
          'Most violent' night of Iranian protests

Video 'Most violent' night of Iranian protests

Nine people have been killed across Iran overnight amid a wave of anti-government protests, state television reports.

Two protesters also were killed during clashes late Saturday in Doroud, authorities said.

Rouhani has tried to play down the unrest, which began over economic grievances in second city Mashhad last Thursday but quickly turned against the Islamic regime as a whole with chants of "Death to the dictator".

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

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, described the unrest - the biggest challenge to the regime since mass protests in 2009-as a "proxy war against the Iranian people".

The report Tuesday puts the death toll in six days of demonstrations to at least 20 people.

It reported that clashes were sparked by rioters who tried to steal guns from the police station.

A member of the Revolutionary Guards was killed in nearby Kahriz Sang and a passer-by in the town of Kahriz Sang - all in the region around the cultural centre of Isfahan.

Demonstrations were reportedly taking place in dozens of towns and cities throughout Iran, including several places in the capital, Tehran.

The towns are all in Iran's central Isfahan province, some 350 kilometres (215 miles) south of Tehran.

The protests were fanned in part by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which authorities blocked on Sunday along with Instagram.

Congress MLA Asha Kumari slaps woman police constable, she slaps her back
An All India Congress Committee's (AICC) secretary, Kumari is a member of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Dalhousie. Well, while this became quite a news, all that leaped the situation is the lady constable slapping her back at the moment.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has acknowledged the public's anger over the flagging economy, but he has also warned that rioters and looters will be arrested.

"I demand all prosecutors across the country to get involved and the approach should be strong", he said.

"The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years".

Small groups of protesters ran through the streets of Tehran on Monday evening, before a heavy police presence restored calm, local agencies said.

Earlier on Monday, Iranian state TV said 12 people had been killed amid the nationwide protests.

"We believe it is necessary to avoid violence and not succumb to provocations", the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement, adding it hoped foreign interventions would be avoided. Government buildings and police cars have been torched and the security services have used teargas and water cannon on the protesters.

He also called on "all concerned to refrain from violence and for worldwide obligations on human rights to be observed".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling the protesters "brave" and "heroic", said in a video posted to YouTube on Monday that the protesters sought freedom, justice and 'the basic liberties that have been denied to them for decades'.

The protests began over Iran's economy, which has improved since the nuclear deal that saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the end of some worldwide sanctions.

That improvement has not reached the average Iranian, however. Unemployment remains high, and official inflation has crept up to 10 per cent again.

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