Monday, June 15, 2009

Violence in Iran

Unconfirmed reports place the number of dead at 15. BBCNews reports, pictures from The Big Picture blog and Yahoo!News, scroll down for video:
Shots have been fired at a rally in Iran where hundreds of thousands of people were demonstrating against last week's presidential election results.

One protester was killed and several more were hurt when security forces opened fire.
The crowd had been addressed by Mir Hossein Mousavi, who believes the vote was fixed in favour of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr Ahmadinejad has dismissed the claims and says the vote was fair.

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Tehran, says Monday's rally was the biggest demonstration in the Islamic republic's 30-year history and described it as a "political earthquake".


But reports at 2045 local time (1615 GMT) said shots were being fired.

"There has been sporadic shooting out there... I can see people running here," Reuters quoted a reporter of Iran's Press TV as saying from Tehran's Azadi Square.

"A number of people who are armed, I don't know exactly who they are, but they have started to fire on people causing havoc in Azadi Square."

A photographer at the scene told news agencies that security forces had killed one protester and seriously wounded several others. A man is said to have been arrested over the shooting.

He said the shooting began when the crowd attacked a compound used by a religious militia linked to the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard.

Pictures from Tehran show Basij militia-men attacking students (at a university campus and dormitory) and protesters demonstrating against the theocratic regime and the rigged election results:

While other pictures depicted security service agents, sometimes on motorbike, beating attacking demonstrators:

For up-to-date information on developments in Iran readers can refer to previously cited sources or these other websites keeping close tabs on developments in that country:
Readers can also check this walk-through of Iran's political system provided by BBCNews.

Finally, I'll end this post with a quote from the Blacksmith Jade twitter feed: "As level of chaos rises in Iran, worries grow that Hizballah will act to create a distraction in the region, sparking Leb bloodshed."

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