In Iran: Protesters attack coastguard after deadly clash at sea

Several Iranian coastguard personnel were wounded as protesters attacked their base over the killing of a young man in a confrontation between their unit and fuel smugglers, local media reported Sunday.

The incident occurred Friday after smugglers in boats in the Sirik area of the Hormuz Strait ignored coastguard warning shots, ultra-conservative Kayhan newspaper quoted their provincial commander Hossein Dehaki as saying.

He said guards opened fire at several boats after coming under attack with fire bombs and other projectiles.

Iranian media said a 31-year-old Sirik resident was killed.

Hours later, villagers gathered outside the base to demonstrate against the killing, according to state television’s Iribnews website, citing a local official.

Dehaki said the protesters, spurred on by “opponents” of the Islamic republic, launched an assault on the coastguard building, seriously injuring several members of the force and causing heavy damage.

The violence comes less than three weeks after deadly clashes with fuel smugglers in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan bordering Pakistan that left two dead, including a policeman, according to Iranian authorities.

The UN Human Rights Office said at least 12 people were reportedly killed, two of them minors, and accused Iranian security forces of using excessive force. AFP


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