One injured in Iran protests over water scarcity (VIDEO)
Online videos appear to show Iranian security forces shooting at protesters early Sunday amid demonstrations over water scarcity in the country’s south, though Iranian authorities said only one person was wounded in the clashes.
The protests around Khorramshahr come as residents of the predominantly Arab city near the border with Iraq complain of salty, muddy water coming out of their taps amid a years-long drought.
Protests began in Khorramshahr, Abadan and other areas of Iran’s Khuzestan province on Friday. The demonstrations initially were peaceful, with protesters chanting in both Arabic and Farsi, CNBC reported.
But late Saturday and into early Sunday morning, protesters began throwing stones and confronting security forces in Khorramshahr, according to widely shared online videos.
Heavy rifle and machine gun fire rang out, with one video showing demonstrators dragging away a man who couldn’t walk. Another video appeared to show a man carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle on the back of a motorcycle near protesters.
IRNA news agency later reported that protesters threw stones and debris at police, who responded with tear gas. It did not mention the gunfire.
Iranian state television reported Sunday afternoon that “peace had returned” to Khorramshahr and an unspecified number of protesters had been arrested. It also said some demonstrators carried firearms during the unrest.