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Iran media report one killed in unrest over food price hikes

TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) – An Iranian lawmaker said one person was killed in his city during recent unrest over price increases in the southwestern Khuzestan province, semi-official ILNA news agency reported on Saturday.

Member of Parliament from Dezful Ahmad Avaei did not give the name or gender of the person killed, or say how many people were arrested during the unrest.

State media reported on Friday that Iranian authorities had arrested at least 22 demonstrators who had been protesting sudden price hikes of subsidised staple food, 15 of them in Dezful.

A firefighter was injured in clashes with demonstrators in a nearby city, Andimeshk.

The unrests follow Iran’s announcement earlier in the week that the cost of cooking oil, chicken, eggs and milk would rise by as much as 300 per cent, as food prices surge across the Middle East due to global supply chain snarls and Russia’s invasion of major food exporter Ukraine.

State TV on Friday showed footage of demonstrations in the province that had deteriorated into violence, with protesters burning tyres and leaving mosques and public property damaged.

Memories of Iran’s fuel price hike in November 2019 also remain fresh. Then, widespread protests – the most violent since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1979 – rocked the country.

An Iranian shops at a food store in the capital Tehran. PHOTO: AFP