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LATEST: Two Killed In Iran As Protests Rage, Government Shuts Down Messaging Apps

The government of Iran has shut down internet and phone lines as protests enter their fourth day, and two protesters have been killed as forces crack down on civil unrest.

On Sunday, the Iranian government announced that protesters would “pay the price” for their unrest, and that those who defy government officials “must be responsible for their behavior.” They also appeared to crack down on an internet messaging app that has been fueling protests, slowing down internet access in cities where anti-government sentiment is high.

Two protesters lost their lives during a protest in Dorud, but the local government says it was the fault of “foreign agents” and not the brutal Revolutionary Guard.

“On Saturday evening, there was an illegal protest in Dorud and a number of people took to the streets responding to calls from hostile groups, leading to clashes,” government officials told Sky News. “Unfortunately in these clashes two citizens from Dorud were killed.”

The Revolutionary Guard claimed that citizens had entered the crowd of protesters with their own weapons and began shooting randomly, leading to two deaths, but the Guard followed up with a statement claiming that other protests would be met with an “iron fist.

So far, Iranian officials admit to arresting at least 130 protesters.

Sunday night in Iran, access to popular social messaging sites like Instagram and Telegram, were cut off; the government claimed they blocked the applications because they were “inciting violence” among Iranian youth. Although Telegram is a privately owned company, it claims it was forced to comply with government orders once they discovered actual calls to violence on their network.

Several telecom agencies in Iran also say the government has cut off internet access completely in select cities. Twitter users inside Iran seem to indicate that they still have access to some internet, and global news sites, but that connections are slow and unreliable.

But even so, the Iranian government has not been able to quell the flow of information from within the protests themselves — particularly photos and videos that show the protests are definitely not only about economic woes.

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