Iranian security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters in the capital today, killing at least four people and injuring two others in the fiercest clashes in months, opposition websites and witnesses said. Authorities had warned of a harsh crackdown should opposition supporters hold rallies coinciding with today's religious observances marking the 7th-century death in battle of one of Shiite Islam's most beloved saints.
Foreign media were barred and the deaths could not be independently confirmed. Thousands made their way to Tehran's central Revolution Street, chanting "death to the dictator." After failing to disperse the crowds with tear gas, charges by baton-wielding officers, and warning shots, security forces opened fire directly at protesters, killing at least three, said witnesses and the pro-reform website Rah-e-Sabz. Cell phone services were down and Internet connections slowed to a crawl, as during most other days of opposition protest.