Iran authorities refuse to confirm protests fatalities

Tehran (IANS) Iranian authorities have refused to confirm the number of people that died in the recent protests against the government's decision to hike fuel prices.

When asked at a press conference on Sunday about how many had died, Iranian Parliament President Ali Larijani replied that the "security apparatus will continue to follow this issue as it is their duty", Efe news reported.

"Some people were injured and had problems, houses were burned and there was damage," the Iranian official said.

The protests began mid last month after the government's decision to raise the price of gasoline between 50 and 300 per cent.

Since the authorities lifted a digital blockade on Internet access over a week ago, videos of the brutal repression of the security forces have flooded social networks.

Many Internet users have been posting a map of Iran in black.

Despite the brewing discontent, Larijani on Sunday blamed certain groups who he said were taking advantage of the chaos and used firearms and white weapons.

"The country and its constitutional laws have no problems with the protests, the problem is when they become violent behaviour."

Following the protests, a social backlash ensued which soon morphed into a movement against the authoritarian nature of the country's regime.

Iranian authorities have not assumed any responsibility in the violent repression of protests and have instead accused countries like the US and opposition groups in exile of instigating the riots.

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