Videos Show Violent Clashes in Iran as Protests Spread, At Least 35 Killed

Violent clashes have continued in Iran and have now reportedly spread to 133 cities following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who fell into a coma after being detained by the country's so-called "morality police" last week.

Videos shared to social media show people burning hijabs - headwear that Iran requires women to wear in public - as well as attacks on images of the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

At least 35 people have now been killed, according to the AFP News Agency which cited figures from Iran's state media early on Saturday.

Much of the anger has been directed at Khamenei, while protesters have also clashed with police.

Footage shared on Twitter by Joyce Karam, Senior Correspondent with UAE-based The National, shows someone attempting to burn a statue of Khamenei in his home town.

"Burning of #Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei's statue in his own hometown of Mashhad as protestors chant 'death death to Khamenei.' Protests in Day 7 with anger directed at top of regime," Karam wrote.

Videos had already circulated showing protesters burning a poster depicting Khamenei, who become supreme leader upon the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989. Iran has been an Islamic republic since the 1979 revolution.

Footage shared to Twitter by Nexta, a Belarussian media outlet based in Warsaw, Poland, appears to show a member of Iranian law enforcement in camouflage with a long gun taking aim at demonstrators.

"The video shows one of the law enforcement officers shooting in the direction of the protesters with a assault rifle," Nexta said on its verified Twitter account.

Another video shared by Nexta appeared to show protesters at night as cars passed and a fire burned on the street.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that it had verified video from Facebook showing Iran's security forces opening fire on protesters. In that video, one officer can be seen advancing toward a side street carrying what appears to be a gun with long barrel before he fired multiple shots in protesters' direction.

A person in the video can be heard to say: "Oh no, he shot that woman."

Iran News Update, which describes itself as a "trusted counterweight to the state-run censorship in Iran", shared a video to Twitter of a woman who appeared to be stained with blood and said protests have now erupted in 133 cities.

"Footage shows a young woman singing an ancient song about freedom and martyrs while her dress is tainted with the blood of martyrs," Iran News Update wrote.

Protests are expected to continue amid concerns that the military will become involved, leading to likely escalation and potentially more deaths.

Newsweek has contacted the Iranian foreign ministry for comment.

Demonstrators in the Iranian Capital
A picture obtained by AFP outside Iran on September 21, 2022, shows Iranian demonstrators taking to the streets of the capital Tehran during a protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody. Protests have now reportedly spread to 133 cities. AFP/Getty Images