FIFA World Cup: Iranian shot dead for celebrating country’s team exit

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An Iranian man was allegedly shot dead by government forces for celebrating the elimination of the country’s football team from the FIFA World Cup being played in Qatar, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

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.

Samak was allegedly celebrating the loss of the Iranian soccer team to the US, which eliminated Iran from the tournament, as per the report.

The US and Iran are the most bitter rivals ever since the Islamic revolution that took place in Iran in 1979, establishing the Islamic Republic under the leadership of Ruhollah Khomeini.

Samak “was targeted directly and shot in the head by security forces…following the defeat of the national team against America”, the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

Earlier, Iran’s national football team chose to refrain from singing their country’s national anthem during their opening World Cup match against England in an apparent show of support for anti-hijab protesters back home.

However, later, the Iran players resumed singing their national anthem during the Group B match against Wales.

Iran has been scrambling to curtail the violent protests that erupted following the alleged custodial death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahasa Amini.

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