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)

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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