In Sanandaj, the provincial capital of the Kurdish region, the police were searching houses and arresting dozens of young people

Four protesters were killed during protests in Iran’s Kurdish regions overnight, according to a human rights group, as authorities continued a deadly crackdown on nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in Iranian police custody. moral.

Nearly four weeks after Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, was detained in Tehran for “inappropriate dress,” the protests show no signs of abating in a bold challenge to Iran’s clerical rulers, though unrest does not appear to be over. close to overthrowing them.

The protests have exposed pent-up frustrations over freedoms and rights in Iran, joined by many women. The death of several teenage girls who were reportedly killed while demonstrating has become a rallying cry for more protests.

While many officials have taken an uncompromising tone, a senior adviser to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been quoted as questioning whether the police should enforce headscarves, a rare criticism of state efforts. for imposing the hijab.

Human rights groups have reported more than 200 deaths in the crackdown on the protests, which have been especially intense in Kurdish regions, where security forces have suppressed riots by the Kurdish minority in the past.

A source in Sanandaj, the provincial capital of Iranian Kurdistan, told Reuters that riot police were searching houses and arresting dozens of youths and described the situation as very tense, with hundreds of police on the streets of the city.

“We have information from Baneh and Saqez as well. They have detained dozens of young people since yesterday, including teenagers,” added the source, who declined to be identified out of fear for her safety.

The human rights group Hengaw, which reports on Iran’s Kurdish regions, said protesters in 10 cities had faced “intense violence from security forces” on Wednesday night.

In the city of Kermanshah, direct fire by security forces killed two people, Hengaw said. He posted a photo of the body of an 18-year-old who he said was one of the dead.

A video posted on social media from Kermanshah late on Wednesday shows a road fire. “Kermanshah is hell, it is war, it is war,” a voice is heard saying. Another video showed security forces opening fire on protesters.

Three members of the security forces were also killed in Kermanshah and about 40 others were wounded, according to Hengaw.

He has also said that a fourth member of the security forces has been killed in Mahabad and that security forces have killed another person in Sanandaj, the provincial capital of Iranian Kurdistan.

Authorities have denied that security forces fired on protesters and have previously reported the deaths of some 20 members of security forces during unrest across the country.

Iran’s Kurds are part of an ethnic minority spread across several regional states whose aspirations to autonomy have also caused conflict with authorities in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

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