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8 killed in Iran unrest: Report

[ 2009-12-29 11:46]     字号 [] [] []  
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The death toll in Sunday's clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Teheran rose to eight, Iran's state-run satellite channel Press TV reported yesterday.

"Eight people have been killed in anti-government protests," Iran's Supreme National Security Council was quoted as saying.

But the report did not give the details of the deaths.

On Sunday, Iranian police confirmed that five people were killed and more than 300 others arrested during the clashes in Teheran.

"Five people were killed in suspicious circumstances ... and experts are trying to identify the suspects," the official IRNA news agency quoted a statement by the Teheran police as saying.

Iran's deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan said earlier Sunday that police were not involved in the killings and the incidents were under investigation, according to Press TV.

"One died after falling from a bridge, two others were run over by cars and the fourth was shot dead by unknown assailants," Radan was quoted as saying.

An Iranian reformist website said earlier that the nephew of Iran's opposition leader and defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi was killed during the clashes.

"Ali Mousavi was shot near his heart today at noon and died later in a Teheran hospital," said Parlemannews, a website run by the Iranian parliament's minority reformist faction.

Police fired teargas yesterday to disperse supporters of Mousavi who gathered to express their condolences over his nephew's death in an anti-government rally, an Iranian opposition website said.

"A group of Mousavi supporters gathered in front of Ebn-e Sina hospital where his nephew's body was kept ... Police fired teargas to disperse them," the Norooz website reported.

"What has happened to this religious system that it orders the killing of innocent people during the holy day of Ashura?" asked moderate cleric Karoubi, who came fourth in the June 12 presidential election, in a statement posted on Jaras.

The unrest took place as millions of Iranians held rallies on Sunday across the country to commemorate the Shiite Muslim ritual of Ashura.

Sporadic clashes were seen in some parts of downtown Teheran on Sunday and police forces fired shots into the air and tear gas to disperse protestors, Press TV reported.

Meanwhile, pro-government demonstrators also took to the streets to protest against the opposition, shouting slogans in support of the government, Press TV said.

State television footage showed large crowds of people gathered in every major Iranian city to commemorate Ashura, which marks the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammed, who was killed and buried in Kerbala in AD 680.

The Ashura ritual is performed in Iran and some other countries with large populations of Shi'ite Muslims. During the annual Ashura commemorations, mourners, generally dressed in black, took to the streets or gathered in mosques to grieve over the death of Hussein.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

8 killed in Iran unrest: Report

About the broadcaster:

8 killed in Iran unrest: Report

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.