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Iran protests grow, death toll mounts

Worst unrest since 2009

Video: Reuters

Iranian State TV showed buildings ablaze on Monday as protests in Iran stretched into their fifth day.

More than a dozen people have reportedly been killed in what have become the biggest anti-government demonstrations to hit the nation in almost a decade.

Iranian officials said a protester shot and killed a policeman during Monday's protests - the first reported fatality among security forces struggling to contain the unrest.

This video posted on social media showing a group of protesters confronting a water canon.

Here, video shows large crowds of people taking to the streets of the capitol, Tehran, where dumpsters and cars were set on fire.

Iranian police arrested 100 protesters, the deputy governor of Tehran said, as a police crackdown intensified.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is trying to downplay the violent demonstrations, which began on Thursday over economic hardships and alleged corruption and have since spread across his country to 50 other towns and cities, leading to hundreds of arrests.

He appeared on TV Sunday to call for calm, saying Iranians had the right to criticise authorities but must not cause unrest.

He appeared on TV Sunday to call for calm, saying Iranians had the right to criticise authorities but must not cause unrest.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump tweeted: "The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years...TIME FOR CHANGE!"

Rouhani responded, saying Trump has no right to sympathise with Iran.

In a video posted to Facebook, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the "brave Iranians" for protesting a regime…that he says "wastes tens of billions of dollars spreading hate".

The protests that erupted Thursday are the biggest challenge to the authority of the Tehran regime since mass demonstrations in 2009.

Some of the recent anger even directed at Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, breaking a taboo surrounding the man who has been supreme leader since 1989.

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