Police, Protesters Clash Violently in Tehran
Updated 1:51 p.m.
A video making the rounds on YouTube purporting to be footage from a rally today in Tehran shows a chaotic and violent scene: black smoke billows from a fire burning in the street as a large crowd gathers. In a subsequent scene, an injured, possibly deceased, man is carried by his hands and feet through the streets. Words in Farsi scrolling across the screen (roughly translated by The Post's Tara Bahrampour) refer to "martyrs" killed by the pro-government Basij militia. As with other amateur videos emerging on YouTube from Iran, the footage is unedited and graphic, and The Post cannot vouch for its authenticity.
Updated 1:13 p.m.
A female student speaking to CNN's Ivan Watson from inside Iran described a brutal crackdown in which protesters were "beaten like animals."
Hours after Iran's supreme leader decried "bullying" by those protesting the disputed reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, security forces used clubs and tear gas to disperse demonstrators gathered outside of Iran's Parliament, report The Post's Thomas Erdbrink, William Branigin and Debbi Wilgoren.
One witness told CNN that at a Tehran square where demonstrators had planned to protest, police beat people like "animals." Another CNN source said security forces were waiting for the protesters. "They all have guns and riot uniforms. It was like a mouse trap," the source said. "I see many people with broken arms, legs, heads -- blood everywhere -- pepper gas like war."
A reliable source on Twitter is linking to this video, headlined as footage of today's protests in Tehran.
A report (in Farsi) published on the Web site of the organization Human Rights Activists of Iran said the scene was one of "naked violence," with riot police using tear gas and shooting in the air to break up the protests staged by supporters of Ahmadinejad's rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Several reliable sources on Twitter are pointing to this video uploaded to YouTube that appears to show Iranian security forces beating protesters. It is not clear whether the video was shot today, but it's consistent with witness reports of clashes happening this week in Tehran.
If you or someone you know is inside Iran and can give us more details on the scene at the protests, contact us in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #insideTehran.
June 24, 2009; 11:55 AM ET
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