2009/12/28

Iran seizes opposition figures

Security forces in Iran have arrested a number of prominent critics of the government in the wake of opposition protests that left as many as eight people dead in Tehran, the capital.

Ebrahim Yazdi, who served as foreign minister in the early months of Iran's 1979 revolution, and Emadeddin Baghi, a human rights campaigner and journalist, were arrested on Monday, according to the pro-opposition Rahesabz website.

There were also reports that two aides to Mohammad Khatami, a former reformist president, and three advisers to Mir Hossein Mousavi, an opposition leader, were detained.

Security forces reportedly stormed a series of opposition offices in an apparent crackdown following fierce clashes at street protests during the Shia Muslim commemoration of Ashoura.

Seyyed Ali Mousavi, Mousavi's 35-year-old nephew, was among the eight people killed, with the Parlemannews website saying he was shot during clashes at Tehran's Enghelab square "and was martyred after he was taken to Ebnesina hospital".

State television attributed his death to "unknown assailants".

Norooz, an opposition website, said police had fired teargas to disperse supporters of Mousavi outside the hospital.

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