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Internet disrupted in Iranian province amid protests in city

Internet disrupted in Iranian province amid protests in city

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Internet access in a southwestern province of Iran has been disrupted as videos circulate on social media of protests in a city there, an advocacy group said. reported the disruption affecting Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province late Thursday.

The outage coincided with videos being published online of protesters gathering in the city of Behbahan, some 570 kilometers (355 miles) southwest of the capital, Tehran.

Those videos showed demonstrators chanting slogans heard at other protests in Iran over the last year, including: “Don't be afraid, we are all together.” Others targeted Iran's foreign policy, shouting: “No Gaza, no Lebanon, I will die for Iran.”

Iranian state media and officials did not acknowledge the protests. It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the demonstrations.

Iran shut down the country's internet for days in November to halt protests that swept across the country, fueled by anger over the country's anemic economy. Amnesty International reported at least 300 people were killed in the unrest, many shot dead by security forces.

The November demonstrations showed the widespread economic discontent gripping Iran since May 2018, when President Donald Trump imposed crushing sanctions after unilaterally withdrawing the United States from the nuclear deal that Tehran struck with world powers. That decision has seen Iran begin to break limits of the deal, as well as a series of attacks across the Mideast that America has blamed on Tehran.