Iran News ...


6/18/03

Sporadic clashes reported in Tehran, other Iranian cities late Tuesday

Seven days on from the start of student rallies in Tehran to protest the alleged privatization of universities, there were still sporadic unrest in Tehran and several other cities on Tuesday evening for the eighth consecutive night, IRNA reported.

There was an angry demonstration in Tehranpars, eastern Tehran, to protest against police operations to collect devices for receiving satellite television programs that turned violent after plainclothes vigilantes, better known as "Ansar-E Hezbollah", tried to disperse the crowd.

Although several police and anti-riot units had been heavily stationed at the scene, the baton-wielding Ansar-E Hezbollah stopped the cars and threatened to break the panes if the drivers honked the horn. There were shattered glass on the street.

Also, in Sattarkhan Street, western Tehran, a group of thugs set several tires ablaze and tried to create disorder but were dispersed by police.

In Kermanshah, western Iran, the students of Razi University staged a rally at the university's campus. However, a group of hooligans joined the students to misuse the rally by throwing stones at the police. This left several people wounded and the windows of several shops broken.

Still, the students agreed to end the rally after the officials of Razi University as well as governor general of Kermanshah province Esfandiar Zakeri asked them to do so.

Zakeri told IRNA that a small number of people had ben arrested in the Tuesday evening unrest in the city, adding that all had been released after identification.

Meanwhile, the agitators in Karaj, western Tehran, broke the windows of a bank and a drugstore in separate incidents late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning. Several anti-riot troops and people were wounded in the incidents.

Police in Mashhad, northeastern Iran, have reported that some 30 people have been arrested in connection with the unrest in the city on Tuesday evening.

The police have also reported that 50 agitators have been arrested in rallies in the central city of Yazd.

Further clashes have been reported in the northwestern city of Tabriz that local officials say have lead to the arrest of 90 people.

A brief meeting by students at Tehran University's dorm to protest alleged privatization of universities turned into an angry rally last Tuesday that was followed by several days of late evening demonstrations.

The police have been heavily stationed at the dorm over the past week. No clash between the police and students has been reported yet.

The police have tried to keep the Ansar-E Hezbollah away from the students to stop a confrontation and prevent the recurrence of the group's violent raid into the dorm in 1999 that left one killed and several others badly wounded thus sparking three days of unrest in Tehran.

However, the Ansar-E Hezbollah, lead by Saeed Asgar, who carried out a failed assassination attempt on Saeed Hajjarian, a member of the former Tehran City Council in 2000, stormed into the dorm of Tehran's Allameh Tabatabaei University early Saturday morning, beat up some 80 students and destroyed their properties.

Police forces on Sunday announced that they had arrested Asgar and several of his fringe members.

... Payvand News - 6/18/03 ... --



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