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World

Iranian security forces clash with protesters

Iranian security forces have cracked down on anti-government demonstrators in Iran, who had gathered to demand the release of two allegedly detained opposition leaders. Authorities said the allegations were untrue.

burning cars in Tehran

There have been further clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters

There were reports of violent clashes Tuesday in Tehran between anti-riot forces and anti-government demonstrators as thousands of people gathered to protest against the alleged imprisonment of Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the opposition's most prominent leaders.

Opposition websites said the two men and their wives were transferred to prison Monday, however justice officials denied those reports and said they were only under house arrest. Their families insist the two were not at home and had definitely been taken to Heshmatieh prison.

It was difficult to verify the reports as Iran has banned foreign media from reporting on the opposition protests.

The two opposition leaders were placed under house arrest and cut off from outside contact two weeks ago, following a rally by thousands of protesters who had taken to the streets of Tehran in support of the uprisings across the Arab world.

Germany and the US harshly critized the Iranian leadership, saying the opposition leaders' detentions violated their fundamental human rights. A foreign ministry spokesman dismissed those concerns and accused the West of meddling in internal affairs. "These are internal affairs and no country has and will have any right to interfere in the decisions by the judiciary."

Author: Rob Mudge (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

Editor: Susan Houlton

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