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Iranian state TV suggests at least 26 dead in protests

TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian state television has suggested the death toll in protests over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody has risen to more than two dozen, without providing further information as the troubles continue.

An Iranian state television presenter suggested the death toll in mass protests could reach 26 on Thursday, but did not elaborate or explain how he reached that figure.

“Unfortunately, 26 people and police present at the scene of these events lost their lives,” the presenter said, adding that official statistics would be released later.

Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters have claimed at least 11 lives since violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally published Thursday by The Associated Press.

Protests in Iran began with an outpouring of emotion following the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman detained by the country’s vice squad for allegedly violating its strictly enforced dress code.

Police say she died of a heart attack and was not abused, but her family have cast doubt on that account.

Iranian state media this week reported protests by hundreds of people in at least 13 cities, including the capital, Tehran.

Iranian authorities have imposed certain internet restrictions and blocked access to WhatsApp and Instagram.

Residents of Tehran and some other cities have planned to hold a counter-protest rally after Friday prayers.

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