At least three people have been killed in several days of protests in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody last week.

Tehran and other major Iranian cities have been rocked by protests.
Tehran and other major Iranian cities have been rocked by protests. (AFP)

Protests have spread to 15 cities across Iran over the death of a young woman after her arrest by the country's morality police, according to state media.

In the fifth night of street rallies, police used tear gas and made arrests to disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people, the official IRNA news agency said on Wednesday.

Demonstrators blockaded streets, hurled stones at security forces, set fire to police vehicles and garbage bins, and chanted anti-government slogans, it added.

Public anger has flared since authorities on Friday announced the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after her arrest by the morality police responsible for enforcing a dress code for women.

Amini had fallen into a coma after being detained for wearing a hijab headscarf in an "improper" way, state media has reported.

Rallies were held overnight in the capital Tehran and other major cities, including Mashhad in the northeast, Tabriz in the northwest, Rasht in the north, Isfahan in the centre and Shiraz in the south, IRNA reported.

READ MORE: Iranian police call woman's custody death 'unfortunate' as protests erupt

Three killed

Ismail Zarei Koosha, the governor of Kurdistan province — Amini's home — said on Tuesday that three people had been killed during protests in the province, without specifying when.

Amini's death and Iran's response to the protests have sparked international condemnation.

Human Rights Watch said witness accounts and videos circulating on social media "indicate that authorities are using tear gas to disperse protesters and have apparently used lethal force in Kurdistan province".

In Geneva, the United Nations said acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al Nashif expressed alarm at Amini's death and the "violent response by security forces to ensuing protests".

She said there must be an independent investigation into "Mahsa Amini's tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment".

Iranian Foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani late Tuesday condemned what he called "foreign interventionist positions".

"It is regrettable that some countries try to take advantage of an incident under investigation as an opportunity to pursue their politic al goals and desires against the government and people of Iran," he said.

READ MORE: Protest in Iran at funeral of woman who died after detention

Source: TRTWorld and agencies