Iranian police use teargas and batons in clashes with protesters
The Guardian / Mark Tran

Thousands of Iranian police used batons and fired teargas to disperse demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans in a central Tehran square in the latest street confrontation between the government and the opposition.

Authorities shut down the mobile phone network in the centre of the capital to stop opposition protesters from contacting each other, the reformist website Rah-e Sabz said. At least two women supporters of the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi were among those arrested, it said.

"I saw at least 10 people being arrested and taken to minibuses," one witness said.

"Police fired teargas at demonstrators in Vali-ye Asr Square … they are clashing with protesters," another said.

The clashes came as Iran commemorated the killing of three students in 1953 under the former shah. Security forces put on a show of strength to prevent the opposition from taking over the main state rally. The large security operation showed that authorities planned to make good on their promise to deal harshly with protesters. In recent years, students have used the occasion to hold pro-reform demonstrations.

"Police are using batons to disperse demonstrators. People are chanting anti-government slogans in the Ferdowsi Square," a witness told Reuters.

Other witnesses said police were conducting ID checks on anyone entering the Tehran University campus to block opposition activists from joining the students. Security forces also sought to ... >>>

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