Videos posted online Monday appear to show Iranian police firing live ammunition and tear gas at demonstrators protesting the government accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian International Airlines jet, The Associated Press reports.
Tehran originally denied any involvement in last Wednesday’s crash, which killed all 176 people on board, but later admitted the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had mistakenly shot down the plane. The incident occurred shortly after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases hosting U.S. troops, launched in response to President Trump authorizing an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Protests were held throughout the weekend, with demonstrators speaking out against what they consider a cover-up by the government. One video shot on Sunday night shows protesters near Tehran’s Azadi Square fleeing after a tear gas canister fell by them, AP reports. Another video shows a woman being carried away from the scene, with a person shouting that she had been shot in the leg by live ammunition. Late last year, Iranians took to the streets to protest against high gas prices, and the unrest reportedly led to the deaths of more than 300 people.
Rob Macaire, the British ambassador to Iran, attended a vigil in Tehran for the plane crash victims on Saturday night. He left once the vigil became a protest, and was detained about 30 minutes later; he was released after speaking with Iran’s deputy foreign minister. Britain called this a “flagrant violation of international law,” while Iran’s Foreign Ministry considered Macaire’s presence at the gathering “illegal and inappropriate.”
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