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The UN Voices Deep Concern Over Killing Of Protesters In Iran

Protests over gas price hike in Shiraz, Iran. November 15 or 16.

The U.N. human rights office in Geneva has voiced deep concern on Tuesday at the Iranian security forces' use of live ammunition against demonstrators and urged authorities to rein in its use of force to disperse protests sparked by a hike in fuel prices.

Rupert Colville, U.N. human rights spokesman, also called on authorities in Iran to restore the internet service cut off since Saturday and uphold the demonstrators' rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

It had reports that the number killed was in the dozens, he told a Geneva briefing, adding that the extent of casualties was "clearly very serious".

It is impossible to have an accurate number of casualties at this time, since the Iranian government tightly controls information and has imposed a near total Internet blackout.

Estimates by Iranian journalists, activists and rights monitors put a very conservative estimate of more than 90 people killed. Some observers mention a number as high as 200. Amnesty International reported on Tuesday that it estimates 106 people have been killed.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday blamed the turmoil on Iran's foreign foes, including the United States, and denounced protesters as "thugs". Other officials have issued statements calling on security forces to use every mean to crush the protesters.

There are videos showing government snipers firing from rooftops on demonstrators.

U.N. Voices Deep Concern About Violence In Iran
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With reporting by Reuters