Iranians protest for third day over a downed airliner with reports of security using live rounds

ISTANBUL —Iranians gathered at universities Monday for the third straight day of protests, according to images posted on social media, after Iran’s military admitted it shot down a Ukrainian airliner it mistook for a hostile aircraft last week.

Videos from Tuesday night showed demonstrators fleeing from tear gas and in one case a woman bleeding in the leg which protesters say came due to live ammunition, according to the Associated Press.

Reuters also reported hearing sounds of gunfire in videos posted on social media along with images of pools of blood on the street. In a statement on TV, Tehran’s police chief said police did not shoot at protesters and are under orders to show restraint. 

Another video showed students at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, which lost 13 students and alumni in the crash, chanting against the cleric-led government. Other videos, which could not be verified, included squads of riot police in central Tehran.00:0401:36 Thousands protest in Iran after government admits it shot down passenger plane

“All of Enghelab Street until Azadi Square is full of security forces,” said Sahar, 32, a resident of Tehran. She declined to give her full name out of fear of reprisals from security forces.

On Sunday evening, riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators gathered near the Shademaan metro station in Tehran, according to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Protesters are calling for accountability in the accidental downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which killed all 176 people on board.

Iranian officials initially denied reports that the plane was brought down with a surface-to-air missile but later admitted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a powerful security institution, shot it down by mistake amid heightened tensions with the United States. 

The crash occurred early Wednesday just hours after Iran had fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. troops. The barrage was retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad earlier this month.

|Washington Post

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