Three killed as Iran unrest shows no signs of subsiding
TEHRAN, Nov 19: Three security personnel have been killed by "rioters" in Iran, the latest deaths in protests that showed no sign of subsiding on Tuesday despite a wave of arrests and an internet shutdown.
The deaths take to at least five the number of people confirmed to have been killed in the nationwide demonstrations that erupted on Friday against a shock decision to impose petrol price hikes.
The situation on the streets remains unclear largely due to the government-imposed internet outage which has entered a third day.
On Tuesday morning, AFP journalists saw two petrol stations in central Tehran gutted by fire and damage to other infrastructure including a police station and pedestrian overpass.
But they were prevented from filming as hundreds of riot police stood guard at entrances to major squares in the Iranian capital with armoured vehicles and water cannon.
When the demonstrations broke out on Friday, drivers stopped their vehicles on major thoroughfares in Tehran to block traffic.
They soon turned violent and spread to more than 20 cities and towns across Iran, with banks, petrol stations and other public property set alight and shops looted.
The demonstrations erupted after it was announced the price of petrol would be raised by 50 percent for the first 60 litres purchased over a month and 200 percent for any extra fuel after that.
Iran's economy has been battered since May last year when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a 2015 nuclear agreement and reimposed crippling sanctions.
Footage of masked young men clashing with security forces has been broadcast on state television, which rarely shows any signs of dissent. -AFP