Tehran, Iran, Aug. 03 – Heavy clashes which
broke out between protesters and State Security Forces on Wednesday in the
Kurdish town of Saqqez, northwest Iran, have claimed 11 lives,
according to Kurdish sources.
Witnesses reported that agents of the SSF fired lethal rounds on protestors
from helicopters in the air.
Kurdish groups have announced the names of four of the dead as Mohammad Shariati, head of a local school; Farzad
Mohammadi, Student; Abbass
Ramazanzadeh, 55 years old, and Shakeri.
Iran’s state-run media and officials have
confirmed extensive clashes in the western regions of the country. The
state-run news agency ILNA reported on Wednesday that provincial governors
of Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan, deputy chiefs of security in the Interior
and Intelligence Ministries, deputy commander of Iran’s State Security
Forces, and Majlis deputies from the area met to
discuss ways of dealing with the worsening situation.
Kazem Jalali, a member
of the Majlis National Security and Foreign
Policy Committee, told ILNA that participants in the meeting had determined
that there should be “a higher level of security” imposed on the area to
prevent unrest in Oshnavieh and Mahabad from spreading to other areas.
The state-owned Sharq newspaper reported on
Wednesday that a group of Majlis deputies from Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan provinces had demanded that the
Interior Minister “adopt measures to prevent the killing of innocent people
in Mahabad, Sardasht
and Piranshahr”. Their letter was read out during
the Majlis session.
Anti-government protesters in Saqqez set fire to
the town’s principal prayer hall and vehicles belonging to the police on
Wednesday morning. Various government buildings including the governor’s
office were also attacked and the commander of State Security Forces was
beaten by protestors. A government agency, Bonyad
Panzdah Khordad, was
Witnesses reported that women took part in great numbers during today’s
clashes with the security forces. One witness described how several women
attacked policemen who had detained a teenage boy and freed him.
The latest clashes come in the wake of a series of protests that have swept
Kurdish towns and cities in Iran for the past weeks. Dozens of
protesters have been injured or arrested by government troops in several