Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Iran protests go on as social media apps blocked, 2 killed

TEHRAN, Iran — The largest protests to strike Iran in nearly a decade continued unabated Sunday, despite a government move to block access to Instagram and a popular messaging app used by activists to organize, with even President Hassan Rouhani acknowledging the public’s anger over the Islamic Republic’s flagging economy.

Rouhani and other leaders made a point to warn that the government wouldn’t hesitate to crack down on those it considers lawbreakers amid the demonstrations.

“Those who misused cyberspace and spread violence are absolutely known to us and we will definitely confront them,” Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on state television.

Many in Iran are learning about the protests and sharing images of them through Telegram, a mobile-phone messaging app. On Saturday, Telegram shut down one channel of the service over Iranian government allegations that it encouraged violence, something its moderator denied.

Authorities acknowledged the first fatalities in the protests, during clashes Saturday in Doroud, where protesters had gathered for a rally, said Habibollah Khojastepour, the security deputy of Lorestan’s governor. He did not offer a cause of death for the two protesters.

 

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