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Iran protests resume; forces raid dorms

Opposition supporters mark 10th anniversary of student riots, chant 'Death to Dictator'

More clashes in Tehran: For the first time since the suppression of post-election protests in Iran, thousands of opposition supporters hit the streets again Thursday. The demonstrators marked the 10th anniversary of student riots in Tehran. Eyewitnesses said that police officers armed with bats and using tear gas dispersed hundreds of protestors.

 

Later Thursday, plain-clothed security forces entered university dorms in the capital and attacked students. The assault was reported by the students' website. According to the reports, armed assailants accompanied by forces on motorcycles arrived at the Amir-Kabir University, a known anti-establishment hotbed.


Fire on Tehran's streets (Photo: AP)

 

The attackers reportedly assaulted students and guards at the dorms, destroyed equipment, and damaged buildings at the site, while using tear gas.

 

During the earlier protests in Tehran, demonstrators were reportedly chanting "Death to the Dictator," while police helicopters were keeping an eye on them from the air. 

 

"They were about 250 people who shouted in favour of (defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein) Mousavi and made the victory sign. Police dispersed them," a witness who asked not to be named told Reuters.

 

Forces use tear gas (Photo: AP)

 

According to later reports, security forces directed live fire at demonstrators. An eyewitness told the New York Times website that a woman with a blood-soaked jacket was seen running away from a protest scene. According to a report by an exiled Iranian blogger considered credible, at least three people sustained gunshot wounds in the rallies.

 

Iran police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam said on Wednesday the force had received no requests for any gatherings on Thursday to mark the student unrest in 1999, sparked by the Tehran University dormitory attack.

 

On Wednesday, supporters of opposition leader Mousavi were urged – on Facebook - to renew the protests. According to unofficial reports, protestors gathered at several sites across the Iranian capital and hundreds embarked on a march.

 

Ahead of the protest, authorities reportedly disconnected the cellular network in Tehran, so demonstrators have no way of calling each other or sending text messages.

 

Reuters contributed to the report

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.09.09, 17:18
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