Iranians protest for third day after plane disaster

Rescue teams recover debris from a field after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday killing everyone on board

"To the fearless and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency and my government will continue to stand with you", Trump tweeted in Farsi.

Videos posted online on Sunday recorded what appeared to be gunfire and showed an injured woman being carried away.

"They fired tear gas at people", one woman said in the videos. Footage showed blood on the ground, wounded being carried and people who seemed to be security personnel running with rifles.

"Oh my God, she's bleeding nonstop", one person shouts.

Photos and video taken after the incident show pools of blood on the sidewalk.

"The police did not shoot at the gatherings at all because a restraint order (had been issued) for police in the capital".

But the establishment Fars News Agency admitted that police had "shot tear gas in some areas" and broadcast videos showing demonstrators in Tehran on Sunday night tearing down a poster of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

One of the central questions is why Iran did not shut down the airspace around Tehran given the tensions created by Iran's missile attack on the Iraqi bases earlier in the day, the TSB's director of investigations, Natacha Van Themsche, said during the press briefing.

Meanwhile, Tehran's police chief has denied that Iranian police officers shot at demonstrators protesting the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines jet, that left all 176 passengers dead. The statement was a reversal of earlier assertions from Iranian authorities that denied a missile was the cause and instead blamed mechanical failure.

Its handling of the matter saw a memorial at a Tehran university turn into a demonstration on Saturday evening before it was dispersed by police. Many on board were Iranians with dual citizenship, while 57 were holders of Canadian passports.

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Some 176 people died-most of whom were Iranians and Canadians, with a number of Ukrainian, Swedish, Afghan and United Kingdom nationals as well-when the Kyiv-bound Boeing 737-800 suddenly crashed Tuesday into a suburb southwest of the capital Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani apologized Saturday, and dozens of demonstrators marched in Tehran and demanded the resignation of religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The plane was shot down several hours after Iran had fired missiles at US and coalition military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the USA assassination of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani.

The U.K. Ambassador to Iran was arrested and briefly detained after attending the vigil at Amirkabir University on Saturday in a move condemned by the British government.

Trump's show of support to the Iranian protesters seemed coordinated with the State Department. Two state TV hosts resigned in protest over the false reporting about the cause of the plane crash.

Mousavi was responding to Trump´s tweet in Persian, Iran's official language, which is also known as Farsi.

"This tragedy should have never occurred, and I want to assure you that you have my full support during this extraordinarily hard time".

Iran's most popular female actor also bluntly criticised the government on Sunday in a post on Instagram, telling her nearly six million followers that "we are not citizens" but "captives".

Some Iranian artists, including famed director Masoud Kimiai, withdrew from an upcoming global film festival.

On Monday, Britain summoned Iran's ambassador to express its "strong objections" to Macaire's arrest, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

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