Iranian forces fire live ammunition and raid homes in search of opponents in an effort to quell a two-month-old protest movement
Iranian security forces swept through the country’s Kurdish region with helicopters and armored vehicles, firing live ammunition and raiding homes in search of opponents, a show of force that demonstrates how the government’s response to a two-month-old protest movement is taking a more violent turn.
Protesters in Mahabad and surrounding areas filled city streets Saturday, according to authorities and witnesses. After rumors swirled on social media that authorities were gearing up to attack, balaclava-clad protesters wearing makeshift helmets set bins on fire, according to footage posted by Tavaana, a U.S.-based Iranian civic organization, and other social media accounts. Protesters then barricaded a key artery in Mahabad with cinder blocks and wooden doors, according to witnesses and the footage.