Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi, Iran's Sunni leader, accused security forces of targeting demonstrators by deploying snipers to rallies in Zahedan city.
In an Instagram message, he said “special Revolutionary Guard forces have fired at youth and teenagers on Friday.”
“Government forces responded by firing live bullets at young men who threw stones at a police station,” noted Ismaeelzahi.
“Most of the bullets were fired at the heads and hearts of the worshipers, and it was clear that it was the work of snipers,” he added.
Ismaeelzahi condemned what happened as a “disaster” and a “great injustice.”
“Security forces officers in plain clothes shot at people who were making their way back home,” he revealed.
Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets over the last two weeks to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by Iran's morality police in the capital of Tehran for allegedly not adhering to Iran's strict Islamic dress code.
On Saturday, Iran’s Tasnim news agency accused the Baluch opposition Jaish Al-Adl organization of being behind the attack on a police station.
Ali Mousavi, a Revolutionary Guard intelligence chief in the Sistan and Baluchistan province, was shot during the clashes on Friday and pronounced dead at a hospital.
The Baloch Activists Campaign said at least 56 people have died in Zahedan, the capital of the Sistan and Baluchistan province.
In a statement, the Campaign also revealed that 300 individuals were wounded in the clashes that authorities blamed on “separatist groups.”
Local media in the province reported that the protests continued despite the authorities cutting the internet in the area.
Iranian media reported that 20 civilians and five members of the Revolutionary Guard and Basij forces were killed on Friday.
In turn, a non-governmental organization called “Human Rights of Iran” accused security forces of carrying out “bloody repression” against a demonstration that took place after Friday prayers in Zahedan.
According to the human rights group, the protest was triggered by reports of a police chief raping a 15-year-old girl from the Sunni Baluch minority in Chabahar.