Iran has deployed an all-female police unit armed with assault rifles in a bid to quell the protests that have swept across the country in recent days.
The protests erupted following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in police custody after she was detained for allegedly failing to adhere to the country's strict hijab rules.
Police claim she had a heart attack at the station and went into a coma, dying two days later on September 16. Witnesses say she was severely beaten by police, with leaked medical scans suggesting that led to her death.
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Protestors have been seen waving and burning headscarf's shouting "death to the dictator". Iran's vicious Revolutionary Guard have cracked down on them brutally, with 26 dead according to local media.
Now, president Ebrahim Raisi is asking some of the country's 7,000 female cops to help with the crackdown.
According to The Sun, it is believed the undercover unit of female cops will be working to infiltrate groups of protestors.
The unit's leader, Colonel Heydari, told local media: "The arrival of our women's police force is to bring peace.
"I'm sorry to see other women in these protests carrying out illegal actions that are inconsistent with social rules.
"We are here to oppose them in accordance with procedures based on Islamic values."
The unit was established by the Faraja Public Service Organisation, which is part of the Iranian Armed Forces and closely linked to the country's repressive police force.
Colonel Heydari has spoken of their task as photographing anyone seen violating morality laws or suspected of spreading chaos, but images of female officers wielding guns and abseiling down buildings suggests their role may be more hands-on.
Women were welcomed into Iranian law enforcement for the first time since the 1979 revolution in 2003.
Their three-year training regime includes mastering guns, judo, fencing and explosives.
Images from the graduation ceremonies of female officers appear to show them holding MP5s and AK-47s whilst donning full traditional dress in the green and gold of the Iranian Police.
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Women are also understood to be able to work for The Guidance Patrol, also known as the morality police, who were responsible for the arrest of Mahsa.
Speaking to the semi-official Mehr news agency about her "special women's unit", Colonel Heydari said that "eight female leaders" involved in the protests were arrested on Tuesday night (September 20).
At least one video has emerged showing a female officer attempting to wrestle a hijab-waving protestor to the ground.
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