At least 208 people in Iran have been killed amid protests over a sudden tripling in gas prices and a crackdown by security forces, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said on 2 December.

The protests have been held since 15 November across 100 cities and towns in the country, with people attacking banks, police stations and gas stations.

“The deaths have resulted almost entirely from the use of firearms”, Amnesty said, after announcing on 20 November that at least 106 protesters had been killed in the protests.

The government rejected the death toll as “fabricated”. It also cut off more than 95% of the internet connection to stop people from sending videos of the protests to foreign based media.

According to Amnesty’s research and advocacy head for the Middle East, the number of deaths is “evidence that Iran’s security forces went on a horrific killing spree”.

Iranian officials’ explanation for the gas prices spike was that it was done to compensate for American sanctions devastating its oil-based economy, and the money would be given to the low income families.

One government official acknowledged telling police to shoot demonstrators. Iran has not provided an updated death toll of its own.