Gunfire Heard Amid Protest in Tehran

Gunfire is heard near Shariati Street in north Tehran, close to the Sadr Expressway, amid ongoing demonstrations.

Iranian counterprotesters gathered across the country Friday in a show of support for authorities after nearly a week of anti-government protests and unrest over the death of a young woman who was being held by the morality police.

Thousands attended a rally in the capital, Tehran, where they waved Iranian flags, and similar demonstrations were held in other cities. The government claimed the demonstrations of support were spontaneous. Similar rallies have been held during past periods of widespread protests.

The pro-government demonstrators chanted against America and Israel, according to state media, reflecting the official line that blames the latest unrest on hostile foreign countries.

State TV suggested late Friday that the death toll from this week's unrest could be as high as 35, raising an earlier estimate of 26. Anti-government protesters and security forces have clashed in several major cities in the most severe political violence since 2019, when rights groups say hundreds were killed amid demonstrations against a hike in state-controlled gasoline prices.

www.voanews.com/a/pro-government-rallies-held-in-iran-amid-mass-protests-/6760816.html

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