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Reports: Iran protesters killed by government forces

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(Read caption) This photo, taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran shows Iranian protestors block the road, during an anti-government protest in Tehran, Sunday.

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After two days of anti-government demonstrations in Tehran, there are reports that up to four protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces.

The deaths – which could not be immediately verified, because Iran's government has banned foreign media from covering the protests – would be a significant escalation in Iran's increasingly tense political clashes. Iranian authorities so far deny that any protesters have been killed in clashes.

This weekend’s protests, which coincide with the Shiite holiday of Ashura, are a continuation of those that began in June after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection was disputed and have continued sporadically since then. But, while protests left many dead this summer, fatalities have been uncommon. And now, increasingly bold anti-government groups calling for an end to the Islamic Republic.

Opposition groups have “grown more daring, with those who want an abolition of the Islamic Republic increasingly vocal," reports the Los Angeles Times.


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