Iran says protest death tolls reported by int’l organizations ‘exaggerated’

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Iran on Saturday disputed death tolls issued by international organizations during protests that erupted in the country over fuel prices, after a rights group put the number at over 160, and opposition groups reported hundreds killed.

“The statistics released by international organizations on the number of victims from the recent unrest in Iran are not credible,” Iran’s deputy interior minister Jamal Orf said, claiming that the organizations that reported these numbers are “exaggerating.”

The prosecution body will release an official death toll based on reports from the coroners office, he said.

Iran is yet to release an official death toll, but opposition groups have put it in the hundreds, as Iranian security forces cracked down on demonstrators in cities across the country.

UK-based human rights organization Amnesty International said on Friday that the number of protesters confirmed killed has risen to 161, adding that “the real death toll is likely to be significantly higher.”

The protests were initially sparked by a rise in fuel prices, prompting the government to shutdown the internet across vast swaths of the country.

Prior to its latest tweet, Amnesty International said on Monday that 143 demonstrators had been killed in the crackdown, citing what it called “credible reports.”

The governments of the US, France and Germany have condemned Iran over the bloodshed.

- With AFP

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