IRAN

Tehran protesters describe 'wild and violent' clashes

Clashes in Iran on Sunday were the bloodiest since the post-election protests in June, resulting in the reported deaths of eight. Amongst them, the nephew of Mirhossein Mousavi, a leading figure of the opposition. Rumours of memorial services for the deceased today are expected to prompt further protests. Follow our live updates.

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Image posted on pro-reformist website TehranLive.org.

Clashes in Iran on Sunday were the bloodiest since the post-election protests in June, resulting in the reported deaths of eight. Among them, the nephew of Mirhossein Mousavi, a leading figure of the opposition. Rumours of memorial services for the deceased today are expected to prompt further protests. 

We'll be updating this page throughout the day. Send us your photos and videos.  

UPDATE 1: Sunday protests turn violent

Protestors took to the streets on the Shiite day of Ashura, which coincided with the seventh day of mourning for dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. According to state TV channel Press TV, eight people were killed on the day, but the authorities claim that they all died in accidents rather than as a result of police action.

Protestors however say that police forces fired directly at crowds. Meanwhile, they reacted to the shot and teargas by throwing stones at the police and setting alight their cars and motorbikes. Hundreds are reported to have been arrested. (According to Press TV, a number of "terrorists" were arrested after they "attacked mourners participating in Ashura ceremonies and damaged public property").

Mourners are rumoured to have planned a gathering in section 257 of the Behesht Zahra cemetery, where a large number of pro-reform protestors are buried.

Hundreds of amateur videos and photos were shot on the day. Here are some of the most striking.

Protestors crowd around what appears to be a dead protestor to photograph his wounded body. Posted on Facebook here.

Protestors stop a police van and release the arrested protestors inside. Posted on Liveleak.

A group of officers are cornered by protestors. One of the guards says "sorry" to the protestors, while a man screams at them "why are you doing this?!". Posted on YouTube.

WARNING - the following images may be found upsetting.

A man seemingly shot in the head. Posted on Liveleak.

Protestors flip a police van and set it alight.Posted on YouTube.

WARNING - the following images may be found upsetting.

Protestors help the injured to leave the crowds in order to avoid arrest. At 4:10, what appears to be another fatality. Posted on YouTube.

UPDATE 2: protestors continue into the night

Protestors can be heard chanting "God is great, the regime is weak" in this video posted on Sunday night. Posted on YouTube.

UPDATE 3: “Today the city is quiet, deserted even”

Alireza is one of our Observers in Tehran. He wishes to remain anonymous.

I was at the protest yesterday. It was very violent. The Sepah [revolutionary guards] and the Basij [citizen militia] wanted to split the crowd into small groups, but they didn't manage.

After Neda's death, the authorities said the police should not shoot directly at people. But yesterday they did. And when the young people saw blood, they got angry.

They attacked the police and the Basij. They threw stones at them and wounded a few. When it got wild, the Basij and the Sepah did something they hadn't done before. They deliberately ran people over. Friends of mine saw that.

The news that Mousavi's nephew got killed really was a shock to people. At night they went back onto the streets. They even protested in front of the state run television centre on Vali Asr street.

Today the city is quiet, deserted even. But I don't know what's going to happen later."

UPDATE 4: 'My wife was beaten in the head by plain-clothes officers'

Siavash (not his real name) is a Tehran resident who prefers to remain anonymous.

I was walking along Azadi Street with my wife when at about 2 pm a couple of plain-clothes officers took upon us, beating us with batons, my wife in the head. We'd gone out to protest the June election results, but at the time we weren't doing anything, not chanting or holding any banner. After they'd finished with us, the officers ran off to the next group. We saw one woman beaten by five officers. She was knocked unconscious.

They say eight have died, but we don't know how many people died of injuries overnight and today. In any case, the bodies of the deceased quickly disappeared and have not been returned to the families.

If protesters go out again today and the authorities use the same tactics, it's only going to get more violent."

UPDATE 5: Stations closed as protesters gather in centre

Posted at 28/12/2009 - 5.22pm:

According to our Observers in Tehran, at least three central metro stations have been closed by the authorities after protesters began gathering at Hafte Tir Square at around 5 pm (Tehran time). No footage of the new demonstration has been posted online yet. Our Observers also said that mobile coverage has been cut in the city centre and internet connections across the country are weak.