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Iranian police fire shots, teargas to disperse protests over building collapse -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A view from the general area of the Abadan building’s collapse on May 23, 2022, Iran. WANA (West Asia News Agency), via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters). – Iranian police fired tear gas shots and used tear gas to disperse protests against a fatal building collapse in Abadan, southwestern Iran. Officials blame corruption and poor safety standards for the incident according to Fars news agency.

Officials from the Khuzestan oil-producing region, Abadan being located, stated that 28 people had died and 37 others were hurt in Monday’s fall of the commercial and residential building. According to them, 13 people were arrested so far for violations of building codes.

Investigators have taken Abadan’s past and current mayors, as well as several municipal workers into custody. They are being accused of not following safety precautions.

Fars Agency reported Friday’s violent protest in Abadan, when people pushed their way into the building’s ruins. There were ongoing rescue operations. According to it, police fired warning shots and teargas at protestors.

People ran to cover in footage posted on social media. There were shouts of “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” and gunfire. Reuters couldn’t independently authenticate footage.

In unverified footage, protesters in Khuzestan’s port city Mahshahr shouted: “They stole our oil and gas, took out our blood!”

According to unverified posts on social media, there have been solidarity marches for the Abadan protests held in various areas of Khuzestan and Shahin Shahr in central Iran.

Mohammad Mokhber was first vice president and stated to state TV that the “widespread corruption” between builders, contractors, supervising bodies is what caused the tragedy.

Similar to earlier protests about food prices risings, some residents reported that internet access was disrupted. It is believed this attempt to block social media’s ability to organize rallies and distribute videos has been made. Officials deny blocking internet access.