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Iranian Man Mehran Samak Shot Dead After Celebrating World Cup Loss to Team USA, Report Says

An Iranian man was killed by Iran’s security forces for honking his car horn in celebration of the nation’s elimination from the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday night, according to a report by a human rights group. Mehran Samak, 27, was reportedly one of many cheering for Iran’s 1-0 politically-charged loss to the United States in Qatar amid spasms of anti-government sentiment that have gripped the country in recent weeks, with many seeing Iran’s national soccer team as a symbol of the Islamic Republic. Samak, who allegedly honked his horn in Bandar Anzali, a city northwest of Tehran, “was targeted directly and shot in the head by security forces … following the defeat of the national team against America,” according to the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights organization. Shortly after, Saeid Ezatolahi, the 26-year-old defensive midfielder who collapsed to the pitch in devastation after Iran’s defeat, revealed that he had grown up playing soccer with Samak. In the strange and tragic coincidence, first noted by The Guardian, Ezatolahi, a Bandar Anzali native, posted a picture of the pair as young boys, describing Samak as a “childhood teammate.” In a translated caption on his Instagram Story, he reportedly wrote, “After last night’s bitter loss, the news of your passing set fire to my heart.”

Read it at The Guardian