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Security forces clashed with protestors
Photo: Faramarz Hashemi
Several said killed in the riots
Photo: Faramarz Hashemi
Neda Soltani, signs bore her name
Photo: AFP
Iran: Protestors killed as security forces open fire near parliament
Hundreds of protesters gather near parliament building Wednesday afternoon, several reported killed after Revolutionary Guard forces fire tear gas, live bullets at crowd

Security forces in Iran violently clashed with protesters near parliament house in the capital of Tehran Wednesday afternoon, unofficial reports said.

 

Police officers are said to have used live ammunition against the crowd attending a rally protesting the disputed election results. Reports indicate that several people were killed in the clashes. According to one report, a young woman has been shot by security forces and could not be evacuated to a hospital.

 

Other protesters have been beaten with batons and the cellular network in the area has been completely cut off, to prevent participants from reporting about the violence or send images to others.

 

Sources in Tehran said that the protesters attempted to move towards Baharestan Square near parliament while holding hands. Many were wearing black bracelets in memory of Neda Soltani, the young woman who was shot to death by security forces last Saturday and became a symbol for the opposition's struggle. Other carried pictures of Soltani, or candles.

 

On Tuesday the website of reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi reported that the rally near parliament was not organized by his people, and was an independent initiative.

 

Unofficial reports claimed that large Revolutionary Guard forces and members of the Basij militia encircled parliament building and closed off the square. The forces attacked protesters who were holding up Soltani's pictures.

 

Security forces have been stationed in the area since Wednesday noon, in preparation for the anticipated rally. The nearest subway station was closed to passengers, in order to make it harder for people to gather at the place.

 

Meanwhile, other rallies are also expected in other parts of the city, and thousands of family members of people who have been arrested in the last couple of weeks are said to be demonstrating outside the revolutionary Court in Tehran demanding their immediate release.

 


First published: 24.06.09, 17:00
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