The armoured car of a prominent Iranian opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi, was hit by gunfire in the northern town of Qazvin, his party's website reported on Friday. According to the report, just the windows were damaged.
Karroubi attended a mourning ceremony for slain opposition protesters organised by a reformist former MP, Sahamnews.org reported. "Around 500 basiji (members of the Basij Islamic militia) and residents of nearby villages surrounded the place where he was and attacked the building with stones, breaking windows," it said.
After four hours, anti-riot police intervened to get Karroubi out of the building. "As his car was pulling away, it was attacked and hit by gunfire. But, as it is an armoured car, only the windows were damaged."
The website quoted Karroubi as saying there had been no return of fire by his guards. "My bodyguards did not return fire as, unlike the assailants, they would have been brought before the courts and faced prosecution," Karroubi was quoted as saying. The attackers chanted slogans in support of the Islamic regime and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the website added.
The conservative Rajanews.com website, which is close to the government, confirmed that Karroubi's motorcade had come under fire by a stonethrowing crowd but made no mention of gunfire. "Several thousand angry people surrounded the house where Mehdi Karoubi was", the website said. "Anti-riot police tried several times to clear a way through the crowd to extricate Karroubi's vehicle which finally left under a hail of stones, eggs and tomatoes. "The enraged crowd chanted Death to Karroubi, death to Mousavi, death to Khatami," it added.