Iran state TV: 12 killed in protests, attacks on security

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University students attend a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by Iranian anti-riot police in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30. (AP Photo)

Tehran, Iran (AP) — At least 12 people have been killed in the ongoing protests in Iran, and armed protesters have tried to take over police stations and military bases, state TV reported Monday.

The protests began Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Hundreds of people have been arrested.

The state TV report said 10 were killed during clashes Sunday night, without elaborating. Two demonstrators were killed during a protest in western Iran late Saturday.

“Some armed protesters tried to take over some police stations and military bases but faced serious resistance from security forces,” state TV reported. It did not say where those attacks occurred.

State TV aired images of burning buildings, as well as an ambulance crew trying to aid a wounded person amid a crowd of shouting people. It also showed a fire truck that appeared to have been attacked and burned.

Later Monday, state TV said six people were killed in the western town of Tuyserkan, 295 kilometers (185 miles) southwest of Tehran. It said three others were killed in the town of Shahinshahr, 315 kilometers (195 miles) south of Tehran. It did not say where the 10th person was killed.

Earlier Monday, the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted Hedayatollah Khademi, a representative for the town of Izeh, as saying two people died there Sunday night. It was not clear if they were included in the state TV toll.

He said the cause of death wasn’t immediately known. Many in Izeh, some 455 kilometers (280 miles) southwest of Tehran, have hunting rifles in their homes.

On Sunday, Iran blocked access to Instagram and the popular messaging app Telegram used by activists to organize. President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged the public’s anger over the Islamic Republic’s flagging economy, though he and others warned that the government wouldn’t hesitate to crack down on those it considers lawbreakers.