Monday, June 15, 2009

Shots fired at protesters in Iran

This is turning very ugly. Live blogging here. And photos from Al Rodgers here.

A rally Monday by pro-reform presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi turned violent when gunshots were fired, apparently by pro-government militia.

An Associated Press photographer saw one person shot dead and several others who appeared to be seriously wounded in Tehran's Azadi Square. The shooting came from a compound for volunteer militia linked to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard.

"There has been sporadic shooting out there ... I can see people running here," added a reporter of Iran's English-language Press TV.

An Iranian news photographer said protesters had attacked the compound, and that members of the Basij religious militia then opened fire.

Hundreds of thousands of Mousavi backers had defied an Interior Ministry ban to cheer their leader in his first public appearance since elections he claims were marred by fraud. The government says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won re-election with 63 percent of the vote.

Monday's outpouring swelled as people poured from buildings and side streets wearing the trademark green of Mousavi's campaign.

Before the shooting, Mousavi had paused on the edge of Tehran's Azadi, or Freedom, Square to address the crowd, which was more than five miles long. They roared back: "Long live Mousavi."

"This is not election. This is selection," read one English-language sign at the demonstration. Other marchers held signs proclaiming "We want our vote!" and raising their fingers in a V-for-victory salute.

"We want our president, not the one who was forced on us," said 28-year-old Sara, who gave only her first name because of fears of reprisals from authorities. read more here....

Home Page