Iran: Clashes erupt in Mahabad, SSF vehicle set on fire
Unrest continued in the north-western town of Mahabad, Iranian Kurdistan province, last night, with clashes erupting between locals and State Security Forces, following a week of similar anti-government protests which flared up after news broke out of the brutal murder of a young Kurdish man by the SSF.In an earlier report I included the graphic photos of remains of Shoan Qaderi.
Yesterday evening, close to 1,000 people gathered in the main path leading to Independence Square and started to march forward. They were joined quickly by several thousand of the local population and together they started chanting anti-government slogans and burning tyres. As they crowded Independence square, chants of “Death to Khamenei” could be heard, referring to the clerical state’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Chants of “Shoan, we will continue your struggle” echoed in the square. READ MORE
On Sunday, agents of the SSF opened fire on Shoan Qaderi and two of his friends in an avenue near Independence Square. The security forces then proceeded with tying Qaderi’s body to a Toyota jeep and while driving dragged him in streets, according to eye-witnesses.
Witnesses said that the act was carried out because Qaderi was active in anti-government protests and authorities wanted to intimidate the local population to prevent further demonstrations in the volatile city.
Minutes after Qaderi’s body was dragged throughout the town, several hundred angry residents gathered in nearby streets and started to chant anti-government slogans.
Last night’s demonstration was met with swift and fierce retribution by anti-riot forces already stationed there to prevent a re-emergence of dissent. The SSF fired live rounds and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Several protestors including a child were gravely wounded and were driven to a local hospital by fellow demonstrators. A number of SSF agents were also injured. At least a dozen people were detained and taken to unknown locations.
Gasoline was poured onto the ground and set alight at several locations surrounding the square to stop the sting of the tear gas.
As the violence escalated, protestors set an SSF vehicle and several nearby government buildings on fire. Clashes ensued until well after midnight.
Several hundred people have been arrested over the past week during numerous hit-and-run clashes and house-to-house raids.
Several other large anti-government demonstrations have rocked the town of Mahabad in recent month.