Internet services were almost completely stopped in Iran Saturday (November 16) evening.

The move came amid violent protests over a hike in the price of gasoline that spread to more than 100 towns and cities across the country, leaving at least six people dead, according to Radio Liberty

Widespread protests began on November 15 as the government raised the price of gasoline overnight, putting more pressure on ordinary people hit hard by U.S. sanctions and a weak economy.

State news agency IRNA reported that one police officer was killed on Saturday.  The Fars News Agency (FNA) said 1,000 protesters had been arrested.

The internet traffic monitoring group NetBlocks reported that three major internet providers in Iran cut off service at 6 PM local time on Saturday, November 16 and its monitoring system showed a steep dive of internet traffic in Iran. The move specially impacts people relying on their smartphones for communication and information.

According to NetBlocks, users first reported outages in Mashhad, which has also seen a drop in connectivity beginning on the evening of Friday, November 15. The disruptions have reportedly increased in extent and severity as of 21:15 UTC Friday (12:45 a.m. local time), continuing as of 00:00 UTC Saturday, with impact also visible on overall connectivity charts.