youth killed during protests against Iran’s water crisis | World news

DUBAI (Reuters) – A young man was shot dead on a second night of protests over water shortages in southwest Iran, a local official said on Saturday, accusing armed protesters of being in the origin of the shooting, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran faces its worst drought in 50 years, with protests erupting in several towns and villages in the oil-rich Khuzestan province over the water crisis, which has affected households, devastated agriculture and animal husbandry and leads to blackouts.

“During the rally, rioters fired in the air to provoke the population, but unfortunately one of the bullets hit a person present at the scene and killed her,” Omid Sabripour, head of the governorate of the region, told IRNA. town of Shadegan.

Videos posted on social media showed protesters setting tires on fire to block roads and security forces trying to disperse the crowds as gunshots were heard. Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

During some protests, people expressed their anger at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, chanting “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to Khamenei”.

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In recent weeks, thousands of workers in Iran’s key energy sector have also staged protests, seeking better wages and working conditions in southern gas fields and some refineries in major cities.

Iran’s economy has been crippled by US sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers, some complaining that their wages are not being paid, and retirees have been protesting for months, with growing discontent at over 50% inflation and high unemployment.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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