Five people have been killed during violent protests in Iran over the death of a young woman while being detained for allegedly violating strict hijab rules.

Mahsa Amini fell into a coma and died after his arrest in Tehran.

Police said the 22-year-old suffered a heart attack and was taken to hospital as he waited with other officers for the morality police, which enforces that women in the Islamic Republic cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothing in public.

But Ms. Amini, who is said to have had no health problems, suffered bruises on her legs during her detention, according to her father. He said he held the police responsible for her death.

The 22-year-old’s death sparked international outrage with the hashtag MahsaAmini trending on Twitter and reaching almost two million mentions.

Protesting in front of the Iranian embassy in Berlin Photo: AP
Demonstrators pictured outside the Iranian embassy in Germany are calling for regime change in Iran.  Photo: AP
Demonstrators pictured outside the Iranian embassy in Germany are calling for regime change in Iran. Photo: AP

On the third day of demonstrations on Monday, security forces opened fire on protesters in her hometown of Saqez, in Iran’s Kurdish region, killing two people.

Another two were killed in the town of Divandarreh by “direct fire,” according to the Hengau rights group, 15 were injured and a fifth was killed in Degolan, also in the Kurdish region.

However, Iranian state television dismissed “claims of deaths on social media”.

Newspaper coverage of Ms. Amini's death in Iran Photo: REUTERS
Newspaper coverage of Ms. Amini’s death in Iran Photo: REUTERS

These claims have not been officially confirmed or independently verified.

But France has now joined the US in demanding responsibility for Ms Amini.

France’s foreign ministry condemned the arrest and violence that led to Ms Amini’s death, calling it “deeply shocking” and called for a transparent investigation into the cause of death.

A White House spokesman said: “The death of Mahsa Amini, following injuries sustained while in police custody for wearing an ‘improper’ hijab, is a horrific and outrageous human rights front.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty Iran, which works on behalf of human rights group Amnesty International, tweeted that the “circumstances leading to the suspicious death” of Ms Amini, including “allegations of torture and other ill-treatment”, should be the subject of a criminal investigation .

Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Rahimi, insisted Ms Amini was not physically harmed and police “did everything” to keep her alive, describing her death as an “accident”.

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