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At least 9 killed as Iran protests spread over woman’s death

Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press.

The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, still remains unclear as protesters in at least a dozen cities — venting anger over social repression and the country’s mounting crises — continue to encounter security and paramilitary forces.

To prevent protests from spreading, Iran’s biggest telecom operator largely shut down mobile internet access again Thursday, said Netblocks, a group that monitors internet access, describing the restrictions as the most severe since 2019.

An anchor on Iran’s state television suggested the death toll from the mass protests could be as high as 17 on Thursday, but did not say how he reached that figure. “Unfortunately, 17 people and police officers present at the scene of these events lost their lives,” the anchor said, adding official statistics would be released later.

In a country where radio and television stations already are state-controlled and journalists regularly face the threat of arrest, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard urged the judiciary on Thursday to prosecute “anyone who spreads fake news and rumors” on social media about the unrest. Widespread outages of Instagram and WhatsApp, which are used by protesters, also continued Thursday.

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