PARIS: Iran has deployed mounted police to try to contain more than seven weeks of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Aminiaccording to videos posted online.
The clerical state has been rocked by a protest movement that erupted when Amini, 22, died after being arrested for allegedly breaking Iran’s strict hijab rules for women.
Young women led the way, stripping and burning their head coverings, chanting anti-regime slogans and clashing with security forces in the streets despite a crackdown that left dozens dead.
In a rare move, authorities deployed a detachment of mounted police to the streets of Tehran to quell protests, according to video posted on social media and verified by AFP.
The patrolling special unit stands in front of a row of Iranian national flags on a main road in the northwest district of Sadeghiyeh.
Created in 2013, the Iranian police’s mounted division – known as Asvaran – is made up of Turkmen and Arabian horses, among others.
The cavalry unit has been seen on the streets of the Iranian capital in the past, mainly during parades, but it is rare to see it deployed during demonstrations.
Amini, an Iranian of Kurdish origin, died on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran by vice squad, sparking protests across the country.
Iranian authorities have adopted a series of tactics in an attempt to quell the protests, which officials are calling “riots”.
Security forces fired directly at protesters using live ammunition, birdfire, tear gas and even paintballs.
The government also imposed internet restrictions, including blocking access to Instagram and WhatsApp, and waged a campaign of mass arrests.
Norwegian group Iran Human Rights says security forces killed at least 186 people in the crackdown on Amini protests.
At least 118 other people have lost their lives in separate protests since September 30 in Sistan-Balochistan, a predominantly Sunni Muslim province on Iran’s southeastern border with Pakistan.

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