At least eight people have been killed today in a crackdown on protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini after the young woman was arrested by morality police, according to a combined toll.

Public anger has flared in the Islamic republic since authorities on Friday announced the death of 22-year-old Amini, who had been held for allegedly wearing a hijab headscarf in an "improper" way.

Activists said the woman, whose Kurdish first name is Jhina, had suffered a fatal blow to the head, a claim denied by officials who have announced an investigation.

Some women demonstrators have defiantly taken off their hijabs and burned them in bonfires or symbolically cut their hair before cheering crowds, video footage spread virally on social media has shown.

"No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality!" protesters in Tehran were heard chanting in a rally that has been echoed by solidarity protests abroad, including in New York and Istanbul.

In Turkey, a woman cut her hair as dozens of others cheered at a protest held outside Iran's Istanbul consulate in solidarity with Mahsa Amini.

Turkish and Iranian women outside the consulate brandished portraits of the deceased 22-year-old.

"We are all Mahsa Amini," read one banner. "Iranian women's fight for freedom is our own fight. Long live our international solidarity!" another said.

Nasibe Samsaei, the Iranian woman who cut her hair outside the consulate, was following the example of other women who have joined protests across Iran.

Several dozen members of the Iranian community in Ireland also protested for women's rights and against the death of Mahsa Amini at the Spire on O'Connell Street, Dublin.

Members of the Iranian community protesting in Dublin

Iranian state media reported today that, in a fifth night of street rallies that had spread to 15 cities, police used tear gas and made arrests to disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people.

London-based rights group Article 19 said it was "deeply concerned by reports of the unlawful use of force by Iranian police and security forces" including the use of live ammunition.

A burning bin in Tehran, Iran during a protest after the death of Mahsa Amini

Demonstrators hurled stones at security forces, set fire to police vehicles and garbage bins and chanted anti-government slogans, the official IRNA news agency said, adding that rallies were held in cities including Mashhad, Tabriz, Isfahan and Shiraz.

"Death to the dictator" and "Woman, life, freedom", protesters could be heard shouting in video footage that spread beyond Iran, despite online restrictions reported by internet access monitor Netblocks.

NetBlocks and residents said access had been restricted to Instagram - the only major social media platform that Iranusually allows and which has millions of users.

WhatsApp users said they could only send text, not pictures,while Kurdish rights group Hengaw said access to the internet had been cut in Kurdistan province - a move that would hinder videos being shared from a region where the authorities have previously suppressed unrest by the Kurdish minority.

Meta Platforms, the owner of Instagram and WhatsApp, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke publicly without mentioning the unrest, before ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi began addressing the UN General Assembly in New York.

Also at the UN, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told AFP "the Iranian leadership should notice the people are unhappy with the direction they have taken. There is another path that they could take."

The wave of protests over Ms Amini's death "is a very significant shock, it is a societal crisis," said Iran expert David Rigoulet-Roze of the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs.

"It is difficult to know the outcome but there is a disconnect between the authorities with their DNA of the Islamic revolution of 1979 and an increasingly secularised society.

"It is a whole social project that is being called into question. There is a hesitation among the authorities on the way forward with regard to this movement."

People hold signs and chant slogans during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini in Istanbul

Protests first erupted Friday in Ms Amini's home province of Kurdistan, where governor Ismail Zarei Koosha said Tuesday three people had been killed in "a plot by the enemy".

Kurdistan police commander Ali Azadi today announced the death of another person, according to Tasnim news agency.

Two more protesters "were killed during the riots" in Kermanshah province, the region's prosecutor Shahram Karami was quoted as saying by Fars news agency, blaming "counter-revolutionary agents".

Additionally, the Norway-based Kurdish rights group Hengaw said two protesters, aged 16 and 23, had been killed overnight in West Azerbaijan province.

An additional 450 people had been wounded and 500 arrested, the group said - figures that could not be independently verified.