Iranian Opposition: Security Forces Kill Four during Protest over Water Shortage

Published July 6th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iran's armed opposition, the People's Mujahedeen, said Wednesday four people were killed and hundreds arrested or wounded in the southwestern Iranian town of Abadan during protests over water shortages. 

In a statement received by AFP in Nicosia, the Mujahedeen said what started as a protest in the heat-struck city turned into serious confrontation between demonstrators and revolutionary guards. 

"The entire city was rocked by protests, clashes and hit-and-run skirmishes" between demonstrators and revolutionary guards, the statement said.  

"Many government buildings ... and a number of banks were set on fire or damaged. The signboards of most government buildings were pulled down or damaged," it said. 

Earlier, Iranian television reported that violent protests broke out Wednesday over the lack of drinking water in Abadan, one of several towns in the south-west suffering an unprecedented heatwave. 

Temperatures reached 53 degrees Celsius (127 Fahrenheit) in the shade for the fourth straight day. 

"Protesters broke shop windows and set fire to tyres to show their anger," the television report said, before police moved in to break up the rally. 

The heat wave has caused water to be cut off and badly affected the supply of drinking water in several parts of the town, the television reported. 

The authorities have for several days been calling on people in Abadan and Khorramshahr to stay at home to avoid the heat - TEHRAN (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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