Saturday, June 20, 2009

Protesters Clash with Security Forces

The AP is reporting on some of the clashes between protesters and security forces:

Eyewitnesses described fierce clashes near Revolution Square in central Tehran after some 3,000 protesters chanted "Death to the dictator!" and "Death to dictatorship!" Police responded with tear gas and water cannons, the witnesses said. [...]

English-language state TV said a blast at the Tehran shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had killed one persona and wounded two but the report could not be independently confirmed due to government restrictions on independent reporting. [...]

Web sites run by supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said he planned to post a message, but there was no statement by the time of the planned street protests at 4 p.m. (7:30 a.m. EDT, 1130 GMT).

Reports are also coming in of a bombing at a mausoleum and Iran's state media is attributing this bombing to a suicide bomber. Iranians on Twitter are skeptical and are even floating the idea that the government may be behind the bombing in order to claim that they are fighting against terrorists. Ann Curry of NBC tweeted:

"Iran state tv claims explosion at tomb of revered Ayatollah Khomeini. Would incite anger against protesters. Is it true? ... Remember Iran govt is the only source of this explosion report. NO independent confirmation and misinformation is dangerous."

Here is some video that is reportedly from today that shows Iranians fleeing what looks like a cloud of tear gas:

It is becoming clear from numerous reports that I am seeing from various live-blogs of this situation that the Basij have tight control of the streets. There are many reports that are saying that it is "impossible" for protesters to gather in a large group and that they are being forced into smaller groups in side streets where they are being beaten and tear gassed. It appears that things are deteriorating quickly.

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