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Iran students seek inquiry into Tabriz violence

TEHRAN, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A leading Iranian student group has demanded an investigation into violent attacks by hardliners on pro-democracy student protesters in northwestern Iran in July, newspapers reported on Wednesday.

The moderate Office to Foster Unity called on the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security body, to identify and punish those behind the attack.

Student leaders have said hardline vigilantes in the northwestern city of Tabriz attacked a peaceful student rally in support of Tehran students who had been set upon by police.

Many Tabriz students were stripped naked, blindfolded and badly beaten, the Office to Foster Unity said in a letter, adding that the Tabriz University chancellor was also assaulted.

``After firing directly at the students, they (the vigilantes) didn't even show any mercy towards the wounded, attacking hospital wards and dragging out the injured,'' the letter said.

Senior Iranian officials, including President Mohammad Khatami, have denied firearms were used against protesters during the unrest, the worst since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution.


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