Dozens of people were killed yesterday, and hundreds more injured, in protests in Zahedan. The casualty figures continue to rise. Buildings were set alight and security forces used helicopters to disperse crowds and shoot at protestors.
The Baluch activists’ campaign group reported that 58 people had died and more than 270 people had been injured in clashes in the south-eastern city, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province. They said a demonstration had been called to protest the “government murder” of Mahsa Amini and the rape of a 15-year-old Baluch girl by a commander of Chabahar's county security forces.
Social media reports suggest that protests had started as crowds gathered for Friday prayers led by Molavi Abdolhamid at the Makki Jameh mosque.
The local Halvash news agency reported that the protest had spread throughout Zahedan. Several government buildings in Zahedan were set alight. The agency said military helicopters were used to attempt to disperse the crowds. Security forces fired at the protesters from the air.
In a video shared on social media, shooting is heard as people carry the wounded to hospital. Habibollah Sarbazi Baluch, an opposition political activist, posted on Twitter that due to the high number of wounded in Zahedan, “hospitals have no empty beds”.
Three of the dead were named locally as Mahmoud Barahoui from the village of Shirabad, a student of the Badr al-Oloum religious school, named Amin, and Rafe Narouei, a 23-year-old from Zahedan.
Halvesh news agency wrote that several women were also injured during the clashes.
The Baluch activists’ group also reported that the security forces threw tear gas at the women of Ahl al-Sunnah mosque in Zahedan.
The government news agency IRNA put the number of dead as only 17 people.
The Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, announced that Ali Mousavi, the intelligence commander of the Sistan and Baluchistan Revolutionary Guards, was among those killed.
Reza Pahlavi, the former Crown Prince of Iran, called the severe suppression of protesters “Bloody Friday of Zahedan”, writing on Twitter: “These crimes will only intensify the speed of overthrowing this regime. The united nation of Iran will continue its national revolution until reaching a secular, free and prosperous Iran.”