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Friday, June 24, 2022

Iranian police fire shots, tear gas to disperse protests over building collapse

Reports on the Fars news agency and on social media said Iranian police used tear gas and fired shots into the air to prevent another night of protest against a deadly building collapse in the southwestern city of Abadan.

Officials in Khuzestan’s oil-producing region, where Abadan is located, said the death toll rose to 29 and 37 others were injured after a 10-story residential and commercial building collapsed on Monday. He said that so far 13 people have been arrested for violating the construction of the building.

Authorities investigating the disaster have detained Abadan’s current and former mayors and several other municipal employees, amid allegations that safety warnings were ignored.

State media said the government declared a day of national mourning on Sunday in honor of those killed in the accident.

A protest in Abadan turned violent on Friday night after a crowd made their way into the ruins of a building where rescue operations were underway, the Fars agency said. The police fired tear gas shells and fired warning shells.

Footage on social media showed people running for cover. Shouts of “don’t shoot, don’t shoot” and gunshots could be heard. Reuters could not independently authenticate the footage.

Unverified video from Khuzestan’s port city of Mahshahr showed protesters shouting: “They stole oil and gas, took our blood.”

According to other unverified postings on social media, marches have been taken out in several areas around Khuzestan as well as the Shaheen city of central Iran and the southern city of Shiraz in solidarity with the Abadan protest.

First Vice President Mohamed Mokhbar told state television on Friday that he believed “widespread corruption” among builders, contractors and supervision bodies was responsible for the disaster.

As during earlier protests over a hike in food prices, residents have reported internet services disrupted, an apparent attempt to curtail the use of social media for holding rallies and broadcasting videos. Officials denied blocking Internet access.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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