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Amateur video emerged on Saturday showing large protests in the central Iranian city of Hojedk. The footage showed protesters throwing stones at security officials and chanting “down with dictator”. (Dec. 30)
AP

TEHRAN, Iran — Two protesters taking part in demonstrations roiling Iran were killed at a rally overnight, a semi-official news agency reported Sunday, the first deaths attributed to the ongoing protests.

The demonstrations, which began Thursday over the economic woes plaguing Iran, appear to be the largest to strike the Islamic Republic since the protests that followed the country’s disputed 2009 presidential election.

In Doroud, a city some 200 miles southwest of Tehran, in Iran’s western Lorestan province, protesters gathered for an unauthorized rally that lasted into the night Saturday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Mehr quoted Habibollah Khojastepour, the security deputy of Lorestan’s governor, as saying the illegal gathering ignited clashes. The two protesters were killed in the clashes, he said.

“The gathering was to be ended peacefully, but due to the presence of the (agitators), unfortunately, this happened,” Khojastepour was quoted as saying.

He did not offer a cause of death for the two protesters, but said “no bullets were shot from police and security forces at the people.”

Videos circulating on social media late Saturday appeared to show fallen protesters in Doroud as gunshots sounded in the background. The Associated Press could not immediately verify the footage.

Thousands have taken to the streets of cities across Iran, beginning on Thursday in Mashhad, the…