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Iranian man shot dead by security forces for celebrating World Cup loss to US: Report

An Iranian man was shot dead by the security forces after celebrating when the United States eliminated his country’s national team from the World Cup, rights groups said Wednesday. Iran was knocked out of the World Cup by its arch enemy the United States in Qatar on Tuesday night, drawing a mixed response from pro- and anti-regime supporters.

Many had refused to support the national team as a result of a bloody government crackdown on more than two months of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini. Mehran Samak, 27, was shot dead after honking his car horn in Bandar Anzali, a city on the Caspian Sea coast northwest of Tehran, human rights groups said.

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Samak “was targeted directly and shot in the head by security forces… following the defeat of the national team against America”, said Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR). The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) also reported that he had been killed by the security forces while celebrating.

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It published a video from his funeral in Tehran on Wednesday at which mourners could be heard shouting “Death to the dictator”. The chant aimed at Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is one of the main slogans of the protests that flared after Amini’s death in custody on September 16.

Iran’s security forces have killed at least 448 people in the crackdown on the protests, including 60 children under the age of 18 and 29 women, according to IHR. An Iranian general said on Monday that more than 300 people have been killed in the unrest.

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