The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has reportedly surrounded a village and cut off internet access in Iran’s West Azarbaijan province on Monday after clashes erupted between civilians and security forces.
The situation escalated rapidly, leading to the arrest of over 50 Kurdish citizens, and injuries to more than 10 people in the Agh-Darreh village of Takab, as reported by the Hengaw Human Rights Organisation, which monitors violations in parts of northwestern Iran with a sizeable population of Kurds, known as Rojhilat.
Fearing further repercussions, dozens of citizens sought refuge in the surrounding mountains.
The situation became serious when government troops raided the village after locals staged protests on Sunday over the lack of job opportunities for the youth in the Aq Darreh gold mine, the second-largest gold mine in Iran. The mine has attracted significant attention and discontent from local communities seeking better employment opportunities and economic conditions, while recruits are being brought in from further afield. Three protesters were severely injured when security forces opened fire on them during the protest.
On the following day, Monday, the security forces conducted a dawn raid on the same village, demolishing vehicles, homes and properties belonging to the villagers. The three who had been injured on the previous day were among the 50 Kurds arrested, according to Iran Wire.
The situation in the parts of western Iran which are home to the majority of the country’s 10 million Kurds has been marked by ongoing suppression by security forces following the controversial death of the Kurdish woman Jîna Mahsa Aminî in the custody of the morality police. The region has witnessed numerous violent protests met with brutal crackdowns by the regime, with hundreds believed to have been killed in state-sanctioned violence.