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Iran protests leave at least 12 dead, country’s state TV reports

Click to play video: 'Iran protests lead to violence, result in at least 12 dead' Iran protests lead to violence, result in at least 12 dead
WATCH ABOVE: Iran protests lead to at least 12 dying, state TV reports – Jan 1, 2018

TEHRAN, Iran — At least 12 people have been killed in the ongoing protests in Iran, and armed protesters have tried to take over police stations and military bases, state TV reported Monday.

The protests began Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Hundreds of people have been arrested.

WATCH: Iran anti-government protests turn deadly

Click to play video: 'Iran anti-government protests turn deadly' Iran anti-government protests turn deadly
Iran anti-government protests turn deadly – Jan 1, 2018

The state TV report said 10 were killed during clashes Sunday night, without elaborating. Two demonstrators were killed during a protest in western Iran late Saturday.

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“Some armed protesters tried to take over some police stations and military bases but faced serious resistance from security forces,” state TV reported. It did not say where those attacks occurred.

State TV aired images of burning buildings, as well as an ambulance crew trying to aid a wounded person amid a crowd of shouting people. It also showed a fire truck that appeared to have been attacked and burned.

READ MORE: Iran protests fueled by young people more interested in jobs than Islamist idealism

Later Monday, state TV said six people were killed in the western town of Tuyserkan, 295 kilometers (185 miles) southwest of Tehran. It said three others were killed in the town of Shahinshahr, 315 kilometers (195 miles) south of Tehran. It did not say where the 10th person was killed.

Earlier Monday, the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted Hedayatollah Khademi, a representative for the town of Izeh, as saying two people died there Sunday night. It was not clear if they were included in the state TV toll.

He said the cause of death wasn’t immediately known. Many in Izeh, some 455 kilometers (280 miles) southwest of Tehran, have hunting rifles in their homes.

WATCH: Iranian president says people have right to protest, but must avoid violence

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Iranian president says people have right to protest, but must avoid violence – Dec 31, 2017

On Sunday, Iran blocked access to Instagram and the popular messaging app Telegram used by activists to organize. President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged the public’s anger over the Islamic Republic’s flagging economy, though he and others warned that the government wouldn’t hesitate to crack down on those it considers lawbreakers.

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That was echoed Monday by Iranian judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, who urged authorities to strongly confront rioters, state TV reported.

“I demand all prosecutors across the country to get involved and approach should be strong,” he said.

WATCH: Netanyahu encourages Iran protests, says Israel is not involved

Click to play video: 'Netanyahu encourages Iran protests, says Israel is not involved' Netanyahu encourages Iran protests, says Israel is not involved
Netanyahu encourages Iran protests, says Israel is not involved – Jan 1, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been tweeting in support of protesters in Iran, continued into the New Year, describing the country as “failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration.”

READ MORE: Iran blocks Instagram, Telegram access as anti-government protests intensify

“The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years,” he wrote. “They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”

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While some have shared Trump’s tweets, many in Iran distrust him as he’s refused to re-certify the nuclear deal and as his travel bans have blocked Iranians from getting U.S. visas.

Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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