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Protests over deadly building collapse in Iran’s southwest intensify

Published: Updated:

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Sunday in Iran’s southwestern city of Abadan where anger with the regime over a deadly building collapse is high.

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A 10-storey residential and commercial building collapsed on May 23 in Abadan, killing dozens. The death toll rose to 31 on Monday, according to official figures.

Protests have been taking place in the city on a daily basis over the incident which protesters and activists blame on regime corruption.

Protesters interrupted a state-sponsored mourning ceremony where a senior cleric was speaking on Sunday, forcing state TV to cut out sound. “Dishonourable! Dishonourable!” protesters chanted just as Mohsen Heydari, a member of the Assembly of Experts – a clerical body in charge of selecting Iran’s supreme leader – began speaking.

Videos shared on Twitter showed large crowds gathered in Abadan, located in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan – an ethnically diverse region.

One video showed protesters chanting, in Arabic, “We sacrifice our soul and blood for you, Abadan.” Khuzestan is home to a large Arab population.

“I will kill whoever killed my brother,” protesters could be heard chanting, in Persian, in another video.

Other videos showed security forces attacking protesters with batons and firing teargas to disperse them. Sound of gunfire could be heard in other videos.

Al Arabiya English could not independently verify the videos’ authenticity.

Read more:

Iran police tear-gas protesters after building collapse: Report

Iran mourns building collapse victims as toll tops 30

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