On March 12, marine police opened fire on a group of fuel traders in the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, killing two Baluch locals. In response to this crime, residents of the Kuhestak town flooded onto the streets and clashed with oppressive forces.
Authorities once again targeted protesters with live ammunition, leaving at least one person injured. Security forces’ violence prompted and fueled locals’ ire. They expanded their protests in various parts of this town and set some police patrol boats ablaze.
In response to the killing of two fuel traders by marine police, locals in Kuhestak district vented their anger at the regime, setting police boats ablaze.
Last week, #IRGCTerrorists crime against fuel porters in Saravan ignited new round of #IranProtests.pic.twitter.com/JfKf4sq543
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) March 12, 2021
“People were still on the streets in the afternoon hours and the atmosphere is reported to be very tense,” reported the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), adding, “Reports indicate several other protesters have been injured as a result of the security forces opening fire.”
To prevent news from spreading about the protests in Kuhestak and the government’s crimes, authorities have cut off or severely slowed down internet connections in this region. However, several locals leaked footage and information of what happened in this area.
March 12 – Kuhestak, southern #Iran
Marine police opened fire on fuel traders, leaving two killed & injured. Outraged locals began clashing with the police & authorities opened fire on the protesters, leaving one injured. Protests expanded & locals set authorities' boats ablaze. pic.twitter.com/OLhWEjru6t
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) March 12, 2021
Fearing another round of protests, such as fuel porters’ protests in Saravan, Sistan and Baluchestan province, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) has dispatched supplementary forces and anti-riot forces to this coastal town. Notably, less than one month ago, the IRGC border forces opened fire on a group of fuel porters in the Iran-Pakistan border crossing region.
Initial reports on February 22 stated that the regime had killed at least nine Baluch residents. Images and videos posted on social media showed a dense presence of IRGC forces along with heavy artillery and tanks.
#BREAKING#Iran's IRGC targeted Baluch citizens, who are carrying fuel to make ends meet, with live ammunition, leading to several deaths and injuries.#HumanRights activists in Saravan city identified at least six victims as of this report.
Witnesses say victims are far higher. pic.twitter.com/CFc0kd7kWk
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) February 22, 2021
On the other hand, the IRGC and security forces brutally cracked down on protesters, killing more locals, including a 16-year-old boy. Oppressive forces also shot and injured female protesters who had taken to the streets to vent their anger over the killing of their loved ones.
“At least 40 protesters have been killed in yesterday and today’s brutal attacks, and over 100 people wounded and hospitalized, some in critical condition. The IRGC also set fire to dozens of vehicles with which the porters transferred their fuel,” the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) stated on February 23.
Nonetheless, the IRGC’s crime sparked public ire in different provinces, and many people declared their solidarity with protesters in Baluchi areas.
Citizens in the provinces of Razavi Khorasan, Alborz, Isfahan, Gilan, Western Azarbaijan, Tehran, and Zanjan provinces severely slammed the authorities for their bloody suppression. “Saravan is not alone,” many people said.