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Pro-government rallies in Iran after days of protest, unrest

Anti-government protests against rising prices and corruption had begun Thursday in the city of Mashhad

ens of thousands of Iranians took part in pro-government demonstrations in several cities across the country. Photo: AP | PTI
ens of thousands of Iranians took part in pro-government demonstrations in several cities across the country. Photo: AP | PTI

Tens of thousands of government supporters marched in rallies across Iran on Wednesday to denounce recent demonstrations against the regime's economic policies.

The state-organised demonstrations took place in numerous cities across Iran, including Qom, _ a center for religious scholarship, and in Ahvaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province in the southwest, reports Efe news.

Iranian men and women held posters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian flags while large groups of Shia clerics took part in the rally in Qom as seen in images supplied by journalists on the ground.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported that the capital Tehran had returned to normal late Tuesday and no anti-government demonstrations had taken place.

Although riot police were deployed on the streets, pedestrians shopped normally.

Anti-government protests against rising prices and corruption had begun Thursday in the city of Mashhad, then spread to other parts of the country.

The resulting clashes with security forces have left a toll of at least 20 people dead, while more than a thousand were arrested.