Al-Arabia – More than 200 people have been killed in Iran during anti-regime protests sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini in mid-September, authorities said on Saturday.
The toll, provided by the interior ministry’s state security council, included security forces, ordinary citizens, “rioters” and armed anti-regime militants, according to a statement carried by state news agency IRNA.
This is the first official death toll given by Iran and comes days after a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander estimated that more than 300 people had been killed in the protests which authorities refer to as “riots.”
The figures given by the state security council and the IRGC commander are lower than those given by rights groups who say security forces have killed over 400 people in the protests.MIDDLE EASTIran protestsIran’s top Sunni cleric says protesters should not face death sentences
Protests have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Amini died three days after collapsing in police custody. She had been detained by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly not complying with the regime’s strict hijab rules.
Demonstrators have been calling for regime change in the protests which have become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.