Clashes erupt in Iran capital’s slums    Wed. 20 Jul 2005


Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 20 – A Tehran district mayor’s decision to destroy makeshift accommodation in a shanty town on the outskirts of the capital led to pitch battles between government agents and residents on Tuesday.

Armed troops of the State Security Forces and agents of the local city council moved into the impoverished district of Qiyam-Dasht in the suburbs of
Tehran to arrest construction workers putting up buildings for homeless residents.

A large crowd gathered and residents refused to succumb to the strong-armed tactics of the assailants. Scuffles broke out between government agents and angry protestors. At least one vehicle belonging to the city council was set on fire.

During the clashes, people threw bricks and stones at government-owned buildings and set fire to banks and parts of the town hall in the shanty town.

Special anti-riot SSF forces were called in to prevent the spread of protests. Several agents of the security forces and the city council were wounded in the ensuing clashes and were transported to the town’s local hospital. A number of construction workers were also injured with two reportedly in critical condition.

Locals claimed that checkpoints had been set up in the main routes in and out of the town over the past few days and that people were being searched and harassed by the government to prevent the transport of construction tools into the town.

The mayor of Qiyam-Dasht said yesterday that those involved in construction in the town were acting against the law and would face serious consequences

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