On Sept. 21, a video began circulating online of security forces opening fire on a group of protestors in Tehran's Valiasr Square. (Video: Facebook)

Videos show Iran’s violent crackdown as protests intensify

It has been a week since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who fell into a coma after being detained by Iran’s “morality police.” But the anti-government protests she inspired are still raging across Iran. Demonstrators, many of them women, are burning hijabs and fighting back against police; they are tearing down posters and setting fire to billboards of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader.

Why women are burning hijabs in Iran

Video posted on Sept. 22 shows a billboard depicting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei set on fire in the Iranian city of Babol. (Video: Twitter)

Increasingly, protesters are paying with their lives. At least 30 people have been killed, according to rights groups and news reports. Hundreds have been injured. The government has disrupted cellular service across the country, and has imposed significant internet outages in some regions, including the Kurdish west, where the protests began and where rights groups say the crackdown has been most brutal.

What’s behind the protests in Iran?

Videos verified by The Washington Post show security forces opening fire on protesters. And a further escalation could be coming — Iran’s military warned Friday it would intervene if the demonstrations continued.

On Sept. 21, a video began circulating online of security forces opening fire on a group of protestors in Tehran's Valiasr Square. (Video: Facebook)

In a video shared Wednesday, a column of police motorbikes drives through Vali-e Asr, a major square in downtown Tehran.

A couple of the officers can be seen carrying paintball guns, which are used to tag and identify protesters. “Don’t shoot, you dirtbags,” a person yells, as paintball rounds are fired off.

Another officer advances toward a side street on foot, armed with what appears to be a gun with a long barrel. A muzzle flash is visible as he fires multiple shots in the direction of retreating protesters. “Oh no, he shot that woman,” someone says.

Gunshots are fired in video posted on Sept. 22 as a protester tears down a poster in Esfarayen, Iran. The protest is one of many that have spread across Iran. (Video: Twitter)

A video posted Thursday shows a protester tearing down a government poster in the northeastern city of Esfarayen. At the end of the clip, two shots ring out.

A different angle of the same scene captured by Iran International, an opposition news channel based in London, shows an officer walking unhurriedly in the direction of the protester, pausing, taking aim, and firing off multiple rounds.

The crowd cheering on the protester quickly disperses and people scream as police rush forward to detain the man. In the last seconds of the clip, he is seen struggling to break free from the officers, who are holding his arms on either side.

Video shows a woman lying on the ground in Kerman, Iran, during protests that have spread across the country. People in the video say, “They killed her.” (Video: Twitter)

A graphic series of videos posted Tuesday from Kerman, a city in Iran’s southeast, show a crowd of protesters carrying a woman’s limp body and laying her on the ground. She is wearing jeans and a checkered shirt. “What should we do?” a woman asks, as demonstrators get on their knees to try to save her. One gently cradles her head. In the background, voices repeat the same phrase.

“They killed her.”

“They killed her.”

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