Iranian Police officer killed in protests, taking violence to a new level

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Iranian Police officer killed in protests, taking violence to a new level

TEHRAN - A protester shot and killed a policeman during demonstrations in Iran, police said on Monday, the first reported fatality among security forces struggling to contain unrest challenging the clerical leadership.

Demonstrations continued for a fifth day, after 13 people were reported to have been killed on Sunday in the worst wave of unrest since 2009 when huge crowds took to the streets to condemn the re-election of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The protests put pressure on the clerical leaders in power since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, as well as President Hassan Rouhani who made a televised call for calm on Sunday, saying Iranians had the right to criticize but must not cause unrest.

The killing of the police officer happened when a demonstrator opened fire with a hunting rifle in the central city of Najafabad, police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi was quoted as saying by state TV. Three policemen were wounded. It was not clear when the incident took place.