Monday, February 21, 2005

Riots Rock Three Kurdish Towns in Iran

Iran Focus:
Heavy clashes between Iranian Kurds and security agents erupted on Friday in three towns in western Iran, leaving dozens injured and hundreds arrested. Clashes broke out after State Security Forces agents used force to disperse demonstrations taking place simultaneously in the towns of Sardasht, Saqqez, and Baneh in protest against severe fuel shortages in the area, eye-witnesses reported.

The demonstrations quickly turned violent as protestors fought back and shouted slogans against Iran's ruling clerics.

In Sardasht, residents came to the aid of protestors during clashes as the SSF attempted to arrest anyone in the vicinity of the demonstration. At least 200 people, mostly youths, were arrested.

In Saqqez, residents reportedly forced SSF agents to flee the scene after serious scuffles.

In Baneh, hundreds of protesting youths were reportedly detained by security forces and taken for questioning.

Iranian Kurds have been at loggerheads with the Islamic fundamentalist regime that has been in power for 26 years.