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Blast rocks southern Iranian university

TEHRAN, June 20 (Reuters) - A blast rocked the university campus in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz on Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of injury, local journalists said.

They told Reuters by telephone the explosion occurred in a lecture hall at the college of literature, scene on June 17 of an address by a prominent Islamic modernist who has often been the target of hardline violence.

However, officials were not available for comment on any possible link between the blast, which touched off a large fire, and the speech by Abdolkarim Soroush.

Islamic Iran marked the birth of the Prophet Mohammad on Tuesday and the University of Shiraz lecture hall would almost certainly have been deserted at the time of the explosion.

The journalists said three fire companies were battling the blaze, which ignited after the blast around 2:30 p.m. (1000 GMT).

Shiraz, capital of Fars province, has also been the scene for a high-profile trial of 13 Iranian Jews on charges of spying for Israel. A verdict in that case is expected shortly.


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