Today’s Ashura protests have turned deadly. The AP is reporting:
Security forces tried but failed to disperse protesters on a central Tehran street with tear gas, charges by baton-wielding officers and warning shots fired into the air. They then opened fire directly at protesters, killing at least three people, said witnesses and the pro-reform Web site Rah-e-Sabz. A fourth protester was shot dead on a nearby street, they said.
Witnesses said one of the victims was an elderly man who had a gunshot wound to the forehead. He was seen being carried away by opposition supporters with blood covering his face.
More than two dozen opposition supporters were injured, some of them seriously, with limbs broken from beatings, according to witnesses. There were also violent confrontations in at least three other major cities: Isfahan and Najafabad in central Iran and Shiraz in the south.
The AP has updated the story to say one of the victims is the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi.
The close aide to Mousavi says the nephew, Ali Mousavi, died of wounds in a hospital on Sunday.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears of reprisals from the government.
A reformist Web site, Parlemannews.ir, also says Mousavi’s nephew was killed.
The New York Times is reporting further:
In the evening, about 50 vigilantes armed with chains, batons and pepper spray disrupted a speech by Mr. Khatami at Jamaran Mosque in Tehran, the home mosque of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
Thousands of opposition supporters converged on the neighborhood, witnesses said, and government forces fired tear gas and threatened to shoot if the protesters did not leave.
“As the number of protesters increased, the government forces quickly brought in more forces and waged a very savage attack on people,” said a witness, interviewed by telephone. “I saw a 23-year-old woman stabbed.”
Tehran Bureau adds the Basij interrupted Khatami’s speech after he began drawing parallels between the opposition movement and the martyrdom of Imam Hossein. The NYT’s The Lede has the video.
Update: There are reports from opposition websites that another four protestors were killed in Tabriz.