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Iran protests escalate, at least 9 dead in clashes with security forces

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Iran protests escalate, at least 9 dead in clashes with security forces

The scope of Iran's ongoing unrest, still remains unclear as protesters in at least a dozen cities — venting anger over social repression and the country's mounting crises — continue to encounter security and paramilitary forces.

Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press.

The scope of Iran's ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, still remains unclear as protesters in at least a dozen cities — venting anger over social repression and the country's mounting crises — continue to encounter security and paramilitary forces.

An anchor on Iran's state television suggested the death toll from the mass protests could be as high as 17 on Thursday, but did not elaborate.

"Unfortunately, 17 people and police officers present at the scene of these events lost their lives," the anchor said, adding official statistics would be released later.

Widespread outages of Instagram and WhatsApp, which protesters use to share information about the government's rolling crackdown on dissent, continued on Thursday.

Authorities also appeared to disrupt internet access to the outside world, a tactic that rights activists say the government often employs in times of unrest.

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