118 Arrested after Clashes Mar Religious Celebration in Iran
Iranian police said Tuesday they have arrested 118 people in the central city of Isfahan in the past three days for disturbing the peace after clashes erupted at the weekend.
Police spokesman, Reza Moradian, issued a statement saying the mostly young people had been charged with having set off the unrest and causing damage to public and private property.
They were also charged with having "tarnished religious ceremonies" after the unrest erupted Saturday night during celebrations marking the birthday of Shiite Islam's 12th imam, believed to be the messiah who will return to establish justice on earth.
Press reports said young people were dancing and singing on the famous Si-o-Se Pol bridge in the heart of the city when clashes broke out with fundamentalist groups.
The governmental Iran paper on Monday cited local officials denying reports that police had fired on the crowd and used tear gas to break up the disturbances.
It said that several groups of young people had attacked shops and public buildings and cited a local official saying that the incident was "not political in character." – TEHRAN (AFP)
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