NewsSpecial WireIran arrests quake survivors after protests

Iran arrests quake survivors after protests

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Apr. 03 – Iran’s security forces have arrested a number of earthquake victims who protested government inaction in providing aid to the earthquake-stricken province of Lorestan, western Iran. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Apr. 03 – Iran’s security forces have arrested a number of earthquake victims who protested government inaction in providing aid to the earthquake-stricken province of Lorestan, western Iran.

Desperation and despair turned to anger and unrest as the distraught survivors frustrated at government inaction in helping the needy charged at government centres.

In the early hours of Friday several powerful earthquakes and at least 40 aftershocks turned people’s homes and towns into dust and rubble. The first tremors came late Thursday. Though not as strong as the 6.0 quake that hit in the middle of the night, the tremors still prompted many people to sleep outdoors. At least 90 people were confirmed dead, a figure that could have been much steeper had the early warning sign from Thursday’s smaller tremor not alerted the locals.

In Boroujerd, one of the worst hit cities, enraged citizens protested outside a government aid centre, saying that they had not been given tents for shelter, medical supplies, or drinkable water.

“A number of trouble-makers and opportunists have been arrested in the earthquake-stricken regions”, Mehdi Hashemi, a senior official in Iran’s Interior Ministry, announced late Saturday after a meeting with provincial aid officials.

Hashemi said that agents of Iran’s State Security Forces (SSF), armed forces, the Bassij, and the Revolutionary Guards were being deployed to the province to “maintain national security”.

On Sunday, agents of the SSF opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in Boroujerd, injuring several people in Jaafari-Gani Street and Shahdad Street, locals who had managed to flee to a nearby town said.

The SSF commander dispatched to Boroujerd, Shir-Khoda Moradi, and other agents have been patrolling the streets in police vehicles fitted with loudspeakers and threatening the local population that they will be fired upon if they join the demonstrators.

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