Iran: Kurdish-majority city besieged by state forces

Iran: Kurdish-majority city besieged by state forces
A+ A-
As the government has stepped up its crackdown on protests particularly in Kurdish-majority cities, protesters have been reportedly targeted by shelling in the city of Javanrud.

At least six people, including two teenagers, were killed by state forces during protests in Iran's Kurdish-majority cities on Sunday, Hengaw Organization for Human Rights reported.

In the city of Javanrud, protesters were targeted by artillery fire that left 16-year-old Bahaddin Weisi and 45-year-old sports teacher Erfan Kakai dead, Hengaw said.

In Piranshahr, state forces reportedly opened fire on people, killing 16-year-old Karwan Ghader Shokri and 30-year-old Taher Azizi. The people were targeted again as the body of Shokri was taken to a mosque, leading to the death of Jalal Ghorbani.

In Dehgolan, a person identified as 25-year-old Mohsin Niazi was fatally shot by troops.

Heavy troop deployment around Mahabad

Various reports suggest that the government's crackdown on protests that started after the death of young Kurdish woman Mahsa (Jina) Amini in police custody on 16 September has recently intensified in Kurdish-majority cities, and that the city of Mahabad is being besieged by large numbers of troops and armored vehicles.

Independent media Iran International posted a video on Monday, allegedly showing a long line of troops and vehicles near Mahabad.

Rebin Rahmani, journalist and a member of the Board of Kurdistan Human Rights Networks, posted a video showing a large gathering on Sunday, and said:

"Revolutionary Guards forces equipped with all kinds of light and heavy weapons have arrived in Mahabad to suppress these youths. The electricity has been cut off in the neighborhoods that have been the bastion of resistance during this period, and the IRGC forces are searching house to house to arrest citizens. There is constant gunfire."

Rudaw published a photo showing civilians in Mahabad trying to take cover as they are targeted by gun fire.

It also cited Iranian football player Ali Karimi calling on people across Iran to support the people of Mahabad.

The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights put the death toll of the government's crackdown on protests at 378 on Saturday, 47 children and 27 women among the fatalities.