Second day of protests in Iran over downed plane

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GBNEWS24DESK//

Iran’s leaders have faced a second day of protests following their admission the military shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board, many of them Iranians.

Protesters in Tehran and in several other cities chanted slogans against the leadership.

Clashes with security forces and the firing of tear gas are reported.

Iran admitted “unintentionally” hitting the plane after initially denying it, amid rising tensions with the US.

The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, was shot down near Tehran last Wednesday, shortly after Iran had launched missiles at two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.

Those strikes were a response to the US killing of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January.

Dozens of Iranians and Canadians, as well as nationals from Ukraine, the UK, Afghanistan and Sweden died on the plane.

What happened at Sunday’s protests?

Demonstrators attended new protests despite a large deployment of security forces.

Riot police, members of the elite Revolutionary Guard on motorbikes, and plainclothes security officials were out in force.

In one apparently symbolic act rejecting state propaganda, video showed students taking care not to walk over US and Israeli flags painted on the ground at Shahid Beheshti university in Tehran.

In some social media clips, protesters can be heard chanting anti-government slogans, including: “They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here.” Many of the protesters are women.

Social media footage showed clapping and chanting protesters in Tehran’s Azadi Square. BBC Persian says there has been a crackdown there by security forces, with tear gas fired.

The semi-official Fars news agency said up to 1,000 people were protesting at various points in the capital.

Protests were also reported in other cities.

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