On Monday morning, suspected gunfire and explosions reverberated through the streets of a city in western Iran, one of the epicenters of demonstrations over the murder of a 22-year-old woman. According to activists, at least one individual was slain by security personnel in a neighboring community.
The occurrences occurred as protests continued in cities, towns, and villages throughout Iran after the murder of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police in Tehran on September 16.
The Iranian government argues that Amini was not abused, but her family claims that her body revealed evidence of violence. In subsequent footage, security officers are shown punching and pushing female demonstrators, including women who have removed their required hijab.
From Tehran and elsewhere, internet videos have appeared despite the government’s Internet shutdown. As the demonstrations entered their fourth week, videos showed some women walking through the streets with headscarves while others challenged officials and ignited fires in the street. The protests are one of the most significant threats to Iran’s theocracy since the 2009 Green Movement rallies.
The violence happened early on Monday in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran’s Kurdistan region, and in the hamlet of Salas Babajani near the Iraqi border, according to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights. Amini was Kurdish, and her death was especially felt in Iran’s Kurdish area, where protests erupted on September 17, after her burial.
Hengaw published a film of smoke rising from one area in Sanandaj, accompanied by rapid rifle fire reverberating across the night sky. People’s yells could be heard.
There were no early reports of any casualties from the violence. Later, Hengaw uploaded a video showing what seemed to be gathered shell casings from rifles and shotguns, as well as empty tear gas canisters.