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Iran arrests several suspects in Kurdish city after protests

May 10, 2015

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities have arrested multiple suspects, several days after a protest in the Kurdish city of Mahabad over the death of a local woman, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday.

The report quoted Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s General Prosecutor, as saying the arrests came following a “crisis” instigated by foreign-based media “over the death of an individual in a hotel.”

He implied that the case had been exploited by anti-government foreign provocateurs.

“We arrested several suspects and the case is under investigation,” Raisi was quoted as saying. “Enemies made the case a security issue and counterrevolutionary networks converted it into a crisis.”

Raisi did not elaborate on the specifics of the case or detail the number or identity of the suspects.

Last week foreign-based opposition websites claimed the suspect in the suspicious death of a hotel maid in Mahabad was linked to the government.

Then the official IRNA news agency said protesters last week damaged the hotel over the suspicious death.

Mahabad is home to more than 200,000 citizens and has a record of public unrest. In 2005, the city was the scene of protests that lasted for several days.

Decades ago, Mahabad was once the capital of the self-proclaimed pro-Soviet republic of Kurdistan in Iran. Iran’s armed forces recaptured Mahabad in 1946.

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