Iran protesters hurl rocks at police over trash crisis

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Dozens of furious protesters in northern Iran chanted slogans and hurled rocks at police on Thursday, Iranian media reported, injuring five officers over frustrations that their lush village had become a massive waste collection site that they say has become a health hazard.

Security forces dispersed the gathering and detained several protesters, referring their cases to northern prosecutors in the town of Saravan in the Gilan Province, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.

The group of villagers in Saravan recently has been staging protests in weeks in an an pressure authorities to find a solution for the waste that has been accumulating in Saravan for the past four decades.

Footage circulating online this month has shown protesters blocking trash trucks from reaching the collection site. Authorities have long promised to open an incinerator in the area, but have yet to take action.

Saravan, with a population of 10,000, is located on one of the roads linking Iran’s capital of Tehran to the bucolic tourist destinations of the Caspian Sea.

Iran has seen such demonstrations in the past over government management of environmental issues like the country’s water crisis.

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