Protesters in front of Tara Hotel in Muhabat. Rudaw photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Tensions are on edge in the ethnically Kurdish city of Mahabad, Iran, where protesters earlier torched a hotel over the unexplained death one of its female employees.
Police on Thursday used tear gas to remove hundreds of demonstrators from the area in front of the damaged Tara Hotel, leading to near riot conditions in the city some 200km from the border with Iraq's Kurdistan region.
At least one protester has been reported injured in the incident that began after the death of Farinaz Khosrawani, 25, who was killed by a fall from the 4th floor of the hotel.
The death was denounced by local demonstrators who suspected foul play. Despite the arrest of a suspect, protesters set fire to part of the hotel.
“The people must wait until the investigation results are out to find out the reason behind Khosrawani's death,” Jaafar Katani, Muhabat mayor, told Rudaw.
Khosrawani's family agreed withe the investigation but tensions remain high in the city of 280,000 people.
“We are waiting the result of the investigation,” a family member told a Rudaw.