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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iranian riots leave one dead, dozen injured - police chief

RIA Novosti

12:41 15/02/2011 MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian authorities confirmed that one person was killed in Monday's rally in Tehran, and blamed his death on "anti-government groups," the semi-official Fars news agency said on Tuesday.

Thousands of protesters gathered in downtown Tehran inspired by recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Rioters demanded fair elections, freedom of speech and an end to the persecution of dissidents. Police reportedly used teargas to disperse the crowd.

The rioters, whom English-language channel Press TV describes as "members of anti-government groups, including the anti-Iran terrorist group Monafiqeen-e-Khalq Organization (MKO)," presumably opened fire on bystanders. MKO is designated as a terrorist organization by Iran, Canada and the United States.

"One our compatriots died and nine law enforcers, along with other civilians, were injured in shooting by Monafeghin [a term used to refer to MKO members] during yesterday's riots," the Fars news agency quoted police chief Ahmad Reza Radan as saying.

The police chief also said that several protestors were arrested.

Iranian authorities rejected the opposition's request to hold a rally in support of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Officials said the February 11 gathering in Tehran was enough to show support for Egyptians and Tunisians.

Police placed opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi under house arrest last week to stop them from attending the rally.

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