TEHRAN, Iran — News reports out of Iran’s state TV say that at least 12 people have been killed in ongoing protests that began on Thursday.

“Economic issues” in the Islamic Republic have been cited as the reason the protests began on Thursday in Mashhad, which is the second most populous city in Iran. According to the reports, armed protesters have since tried to take over police stations and military bases in several cities in the war-torn country. Hundreds of people have been arrested.

The state TV report on Monday said that 10 were killed during clashes Sunday night, and two demonstrators were killed during a protest in western Iran late Saturday.

“Some armed protesters tried to take over some police stations and military bases but faced serious resistance from security forces,” state TV reported.

A report from the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted Hedayatollah Khademi, a representative for the town of Izeh, as saying that two people died there Sunday night. He further noted that people in Izeh are often armed with hunting rifles.

President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged the public’s anger over the country’s economy, but he and others warned that the government wouldn’t hesitate to crack down on those it considers lawbreakers. On Sunday, Iran blocked access to Instagram and the popular messaging app Telegram, which is often used by activists in their efforts to organize, according to Breitbart.

Iranian students scuffle with police at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017.
Students protested in a third day of demonstrations, videos on social media showed, but were outnumbered by counter-demonstrators. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian students run for cover from tear gas at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017.
Students protested in a third day of demonstrations, videos on social media showed, but were outnumbered by counter-demonstrators. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT – An Iranian woman raises her fist amid the smoke of tear gas at the University of Tehran during a protest driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017.
Students protested in a third day of demonstrations sparked by anger over Iran’s economic problems, videos on social media showed, but were outnumbered by counter-demonstrators. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians gather in support of the government at the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017.
Tens of thousands of regime supporters marched in cities across Iran in a show of strength for the regime after two days of angry protests directed against the country’s religious rulers. / AFP PHOTO / TASNIM NEWS / HAMED MALEKPOUR (Photo credit should read HAMED MALEKPOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians chant slogans as they march in support of the government near the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017.
Tens of thousands of regime supporters marched in cities across Iran in a show of strength for the regime after two days of angry protests directed against the country’s religious rulers. / AFP PHOTO / TASNIM NEWS / HAMED MALEKPOUR (Photo credit should read HAMED MALEKPOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians chant slogans as they march in support of the government near the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017.
Tens of thousands of regime supporters marched in cities across Iran in a show of strength for the regime after two days of angry protests directed against the country’s religious rulers. / AFP PHOTO / TASNIM NEWS / HAMED MALEKPOUR (Photo credit should read HAMED MALEKPOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

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