Iranian Forces Clash With Protesters

More rallies are expected tomorrow during mourning ritual
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 26, 2009 2:08 PM CST
Iranian Forces Clash With Protesters
Mourners attend the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri on Monday. Protests have continued since.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Iranian security forces beat protesters in central Tehran today while hardline activists disrupted a speech by the country's moderate former president, said reformist websites. Several injuries were reported in the unrest, which came a day before the Shiite Muslim mourning ceremony of Ashoura. Opposition activists have held a series of anti-government protests since the death of a dissident cleric last week, and other rallies are expected during tomorrow's Ashoura rituals.

About 50 plainclothes hardline activists interrupted a speech by former President Mohammad Khatami and beat some of the audience, said the pro-reform Salaam News website. Elsewhere, paramilitary forces used violence to break up protests in at least three areas of Tehran. Last Sunday's death of the 87-year-old Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a sharp critic of Iran's leaders, has given a new push to the opposition movement. (Read more Iran stories.)

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