Iranian police disperse crowd gathered in front of collapsed building


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Police threw tear gas canisters and fired into the air to disperse people gathered near the site of a collapsed 10-story building that left 28 people dead, the news agency reported. semi-official Iranian press Fars.

The report said people insisted on entering the site in the southwestern town of Abadan on Friday night and the rally turned into a riot. Police then dispersed people from the area, he added.

In other cities, people gathered peacefully to mourn, according to the report.

Video posted online showed an Abadan security guard shouting “stand back” while pointing his gun directly at a group of people and firing. In other videos, people can be seen and heard chanting “Death to the dictator” and “Our enemy is here, they’re lying it’s America”. It was unclear if anyone had been injured.

A tower of the Metropol building in Abadan which was under construction collapsed on Monday. Rescue teams pulled two more bodies from the rubble on Saturday, bringing the death toll in the disaster to 28.

Thirty-seven people were rescued and three of them were still being treated in a hospital, authorities said. It is not known how many people are buried under the rubble.

Authorities have arrested 13 people as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the building’s collapse, including the city’s mayor.

The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings around the country and underscored an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects. The collapse reminded many of the 2017 fire and collapse of the iconic Plasco building in Tehran that killed 26 people.

Officials in Abadan province cited “disregard for technical standards” and “excessive construction” during construction, saying negligence caused the collapse. The building was legally permitted to be a six-story tower, but four stories were added during construction.

Meanwhile, state media reported on Saturday that two police officers and a civilian were injured when two gunmen fired on them in downtown Tehran, the capital. He said one officer was in critical condition.

The IRNA report says one of the shooters has been arrested.

Earlier this month, a senior member of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards, Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, was shot dead outside his home in Tehran by unidentified gunmen on motorbikes.

Gun violence is rare in Iran, where citizens are only allowed to own hunting rifles.


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