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Iran supreme leader says people foiled ‘very dangerous’ plot

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TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday praised the country’s people for foiling a “very dangerous” plot after violence erupted during protests this month against a fuel price hike.
New York-based Human Rights Watch meanwhile accused the Islamic republic of “deliberately covering up” more than 100 deaths and thousands of arrests during the crackdown.
The demonstrations first flared on November 15, hours after a midnight shock announcement that petrol prices would immediately go up by as much as 200 percent in the sanctions-hit country.
The unrest soon turned violent and saw protesters attack police stations, torch petrol pumps and loot shops, before being quashed within a few days.
Iranian officials have confirmed five people were killed and so far announced about 500 arrests, including of some 180 “ringleaders”.
The extent of the bloodshed remains unclear, however, mainly due to a near-total internet blackout imposed during the unrest — a move Iran’s critics say aims to curb the spread of videos of the violence.

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