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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iron Fist

Lindsey Hilsum writes:

Eyewitnesses said that protesters who had tried to gather for demonstrations were beaten by police, who also fired warning shots into the air. Video footage showed scattered knots of protesters fleeing as tear gas canisters were fired amidst shouts of "Allahu Akbar" - God is Great, one of the calls adopted by the protesters.

In other places, witnesses described demonstrators holding their ground against motorbike-mounted members of the feared Basij militia.

Helicopters hovered over Tehran and the sound of sirens echoed through the streets as up to 60 injured demonstrators were taken to the Imam Khomeini hospital. Tehran's university campus - another focal point for the protesters - was also blocked off yesterday by lines of police. Supporters of Mousavi were rumoured to have set fire to a building in southern Tehran used by Ahmadinejad supporters.

"This is like [the revolution in] 1979," said one older man on the streets yesterday. "But it's more dangerous. People had money in 1979 to escape and to get by for months. Now they don't."

link: Police force Iran protest off streets | World news | The Observer


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