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Violence spreads outward from Tehran

June 16, 2009 at 7:52 PM   |   Comments

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TEHRAN, June 16 (UPI) -- Violence has spread from Tehran to provinces as several universities reported clashes between students and Iranian security forces, witnesses say.

Protests erupted in Tehran shortly after incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of Friday's election by a landslide over his closest challenger, moderate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The chancellor of Iran's Shiraz University resigned Tuesday to protest a security force attack, believed to have left one student dead, The Guardian reported.

Mohammad Hadi Sadeghi said he stepped down after riot police and special forces stormed a library and fired tear gas Monday, the latest in a series of student-police confrontations on the campus since last week. More than 100 students were arrested and at least one staff member was assaulted, the British newspaper said.

In Mashhad, the Basij militia and Ansar-e Hezbollah militant group clashed with students at Ferdowsi University, while universities in Sistan-Baluchestan, Kermanshah and Mazandaran also reported unrest, the newspaper said. Unconfirmed reports indicated two people died in Orumiyeh during a rally.

Iran's government Tuesday banned foreign media from covering rallies in Tehran following last week's disputed presidential elections.

Mousavi's supporters took to the streets of Tehran, often clashing with police and Ahmadinejad supporters. Reports from Iranian media indicate seven people have been killed.

In announcing the prohibition of foreign media coverage, Iran's government said some of the coverage and images was biased. International news outlets can report on the rallies in live reports, but cannot leave their hotel rooms or offices, CNN reported.

Iran's Guardian Council, which oversees elections, agreed to recount some of the challenged votes, Iran's state-run Press TV reported Tuesday. However, Mousavi rejected the idea, asking that the results be annulled and a new election held.

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