Renewed clashes between the Iranian regime and the Green movement in Tehran are turning increasingly bloody — and one of them claimed the life of a key opposition leader’s nephew. Times Online reports:
At least four Iranian protesters were reported to have been shot dead in Tehran today — including a nephew of the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi — during the fiercest protests in the capital since the immediate aftermath of June’s hotly disputed presidential election.
The shootings mean that the confrontation between the so-called Green movement and the regime has entered a dangerous and volatile new stage, with the security forces prepared to use lethal force in an increasingly desperate effort to crush a resurgent and emboldened opposition.
A close aide to Mr Mousavi, the former Prime Minister defeated by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June election, said that his 35-year-old nephew, Ali Mousavi, died in a Tehran hospital after being shot in the chest near Enghelab Square. A reliable opposition website, Parlemannews, also reported his death.
Details of the shootings were sparse, but one of the dead was said to be an elderly man and another a young woman, both killed when the security forces opened fire on the huge crowds of protesters that had gathered in central Tehran for the emotionally charged Shia festival of Ashura.
A photograph posted on the internet showed a man with blood pouring from head wounds being dragged away by opposition supporters. Two other demonstrators were reportedly wounded. The shootings of the protesters were the first since June 20.
The blog IRAN NEWS NOW has an extensive, live blogging update of events in Iran including a host of photos and videos. Required reading.
Security forces opened fire at crowds demonstrating against the government in the capital on Sunday, killing at least four people, including the nephew of opposition political leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, witnesses and Web sites linked to the opposition said.
“Ali Mousavi, 32, was shot in the heart at the Enghelab square. He became a martyr,” the Rah-e Sabz Website reported.
In the heaviest clashes in months, fierce battles erupted as tens of thousands of demonstrators tried to gather on a main Tehran avenue, with people setting up roadblocks and throwing stones at members of special forces under the command of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. They in turn threw dozens of teargas and stun grenades, but failed in pushing back crowds, who shouted slogans against the government, witnesses reported.
A witness reported seeing at least four people shot in the central Vali-e Asr Square. “I saw a riot cop opening fire, using a handgun,” the witness said. “A girl was hit in the shoulders, three other men in their stomachs and legs. It was total chaos.”
Fights were also reported in the cities of Isfahan and Najafabad in central Iran.
News of chaos and fierce clashes continue to pour from Tehran, with some on the Web describing the city as a war zone. Clouds of black smoke are billowing into the sky in the Iranian capital from tear gas canisters fired by police while tens of thousands of opposition supporters are continuing to clash with riot-clad security forces, allegedly setting afire trash cans and police cars.
Police helicopters continue to circle areas of central Tehran where defiant crowds of protesters have gathered…
Go to the link since the LAT has of photos and several You Tube videos.
The Jawa Report also has a host of photos and videos (one is quite graphic) and writes:
Everyone keep the people of Iran in their prayers. Pray the regime in Iran will not do what I fear it may be about to do.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.