Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sufis, Iranian Police Clash in Holy City

Clashes broke out Monday between members of the Sufi sect and Iranian police in the Shiite Muslim holy city of Qom, the semi-official Fars news agency and websites reported. Fars said some 50 Sufis demonstrated against the closure of their place of worship in Qom. "There was some violence," it said, without elaborating.

The website Baztab, which is close to the conservative camp in Iran, said the security forces used tear gas to break up the protest after local authorities decided to close the Sufi centre.

The protesters hurled stones from the rooftop, said Baztab, which published a photograph of hundreds of people gathered in a Qom street as plumes of smoke rose into the air.

Sufism is a mystical sect of Islam that is regarded with suspicion by many Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

Photo source.