Deaths in Iran as reformists clash with police

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Deaths in Iran as reformists clash with police

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As many as fifteen people are reported to have been killed during clashes between security forces and reformist protesters in Iran.

The figure cannot be verified but running battles continued long into the night as people shouted from the rooftops calling for an end to the hardline Islamist regime.

The disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has plunged Iran into its biggest internal crisis since the 1979 revolution exposing deep divisions within the ruling elite.

Among those believed shot dead is a nephew of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi. State TV said he was killed by “unknown assailants” but reformists say he was shot in the back when police opened fire on demonstrators.

Citing information from the Islamic Republic’s Supreme National Security Council Iranian state TV said eight people had died. It also denied any police involvement in the killings.

Investigation are said to be “underway” and 300 protesters have been arrested and dozens of security personnel are reported to have been injured.

The White House has condemned what it called the “unjust suppression of civilians” by the Iranian government saying the United States is on the side of the protesters.

Iranian authorities had warned the opposition against using the two-day Shi’ite Muslilm Tasoua and Ashura festival to revive protests against the clerical establishment.