Protests have expanded in Iran as unrest triggered by the killing of Mahsa Amini by the morality police intensified, with reports of protesters storming the Basij Resistance Forces headquarters in the city of Qom and setting the building ablaze.
Al Arabiya reported on Friday that protesters have called on residents in Iran to take to the streets as videos of security forces shooting at protesters in several areas surfaced.
Al Arabiya said, quoting local media reports, that the Kurdish-majority city of Ashnawiya had also fallen to protesters.
Earlier, a Norway-based NGO confirmed on Friday that least 50 people have been killed a crackdown by the Iranian security forces on protests that erupted following the death of Amini, 22, who died last week after her arrest by the Islamic Republic’s feared morality police for allegedly wearing a hijab headscarf in an “improper” way.
The Oslo-based Human Rights Iran said the high toll came after six people were killed by security forces fire in the town of Rezvanshahr in the northern province of Gilan on Thursday evening, with other deaths recorded in Babylon and Amal (north).
There had been protests in some 80 cities and other urban centers since the demonstrations started one week ago, it added.
Rights groups have also pointed to deaths in the northern Kurdistan region where Amini was from.
“At least 50 people have been killed so far, and people continue protesting for their fundamental rights and dignity,” IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam told AFP.
“The international community must stand by the Iranian people against one of our time's most repressive regimes,” he added.
Iran's military announced in a statement on Friday that it would "confront enemies" to ensure security and peace in the country, as protests escalated.
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