The number of people killed in the Iranian government crackdown on nationwide protests has now reached at least 253, according to a Norway-based human rights organization.
As many as 34 children were among those killed, Iran Human Rights said in a statement on Friday, adding that it has “received many reports of authorities attempting to cover up the killing of protesters."
At least 16 people, including four women, were killed by security forces in the past two days alone, particularly in Kurdish regions, according to the group.
The group said protesters have been killed in 21 provinces, with the most reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Mazandaran, Tehran, Gilan and Kurdistan. The highest number of deaths were recorded on 21, 22 and 30 September.
The wave of public anger, now on its 40th day, has gripped Iran since the September 16 death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by the morality police in Tehran for not wearing her hijab in a “proper” manner.
Iran’s government insists Amini was not mistreated, but her family says her body showed bruises and other signs of beating.