One killed in protest over water stress in southwestern Iran

One person was killed on Friday night in the southwestern Iranian town of Shadegan during the protest over water stress amid a severe drought, official news agency IRNA reported.

“Last night, some people gathered in Shadegan to protest over the stressful situation of water supply caused by drought, and opportunists and rioters shot dead one of the protesters,” acting county governor Omid Sabripour announced on Saturday morning.

During the rally, rioters opened fire in the air to instigate the people and unfortunately one of the bullets hit the person at the scene, Sabripour said.

Police are working to identify the culprits of the incident, he added.

A severe drought across Iran has caused water stress in the southwestern province of Khuzestan since the beginning of this year, leading to street protests in several towns in the province during the past few days.

Compared to last year, rainfall has decreased by about 52 percent in all six drainage basins of Iran, said Hamidreza Janbaz, director of the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company of Iran.

As quoted by the semi-official Mashreq News, Janbaz added that 101 Iranian cities are on red alert over water stress, and the water supply of 8,405 villages uses tankers, compared to 5,500 villages last year.

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