Clash Is Reported in Iran at Protest

TEHRAN (Reuters) — Iranian riot police officers fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse opposition supporters in Tehran who used a Shiite religious festival on Saturday to stage antigovernment protests, a reformist Web site said.

The opposition Jaras Web site also said security forces attacked a building housing a semiofficial Iranian news agency, ISNA, where it said some demonstrators had sought shelter during the clashes.

A witness said at least two people were wounded when the police chased protesters into the downtown building.

“They fractured the skull of one ISNA person and badly beat up another employee,” the witness said. ISNA’s news service appeared to be working normally, and its reports made no mention of security forces breaking into its building.

Despite scores of arrests and security crackdowns, opposition protests have repeatedly flared since the presidential election in June, which the opposition says was rigged to secure President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

“Well-equipped security forces are clashing violently with backers of the opposition in many parts of downtown Tehran,” the Jaras Web site said. “Opposition supporters sought shelter inside the building of students news agency ISNA to protect themselves. Police attacked ISNA’s building.”

It later added, “Riot police are shooting into the air in Enghelab Square to disperse demonstrators who chant antigovernment slogans.”


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