AT least 19 people have been killed and 20 others wounded in heavy clashes that erupted in the city of Zahedan in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province yesterday, after a group of armed protesters stormed a police station.
The incident took place following Friday prayers outside police station 16 on Razi Street in west Zahedan, a few blocks away from Makki Mosque, Anadolu Agency quoted the provincial governor, Hossein Modarriskhiyabani.
He dubbed the attackers “terrorists and separatists”, who he said intended to “take over” the police station after damaging its walls and throwing incendiaries.
Videos circulating on social media showed gory scenes of wounded people being taken away amid plumes of smoke and the sound of intermittent gunfire in the background.
State media reported that “unidentified gunmen” opened fire on the police station, leading to a firefight. Some reports said the assailants were not carrying weapons, but threw stones.
Later, angry protesters set ablaze several banks and police cars across the city, according to eyewitnesses.
Tensions have been running high in recent days in the Sunni-majority province that borders Pakistan over the death of a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody.
Following yesterday’s events, a top Sunni cleric in Zahedan, Maulvi Abdul Hamid, appealed for peace and unity, and urged authorities to investigate what he called “bitter and unfortunate” events, as reported by local media. – Bernama, October 1, 2022.