Tags: Iran | leader | Karroubi | guns

Gunfire Riddles Iran Opposition Leader's Car

Friday, 08 Jan 2010 11:17 AM

TEHRAN — The armoured car of one of Iran's opposition leaders, Mehdi Karroubi, was hit by gunfire in the northern town of Qazvin, his party's website reported on Friday, but only the windows were damaged.

Karroubi was in town to attend a mourning ceremony for slain opposition protesters organised by a reformist former MP, Sahamnews.org said.

"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 finally 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."

There was no immediate word from the authorities on the incident.

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 said.

The attackers chanted slogans in support of the Islamic regime and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the website added.

"Our town is not a place for hypocrites," they reportedly chanted using the regime's standard term of abuse for the outlawed rebel People's Mujahedeen.

The conservative Rajanews.com website, which is close to the government, confirmed that Karroubi's motorcade had come under attack 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.

A reformist former speaker of parliament, Karroubi stood against hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a June election along with moderate former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi. Both men have charged that the vote was marred by massive fraud and have led a series of mass protests over the months since.

Reformist former president Mohammad Khatami was a leading backer of Mousavi's campaign.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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TEHRAN — The armoured car of one of Iran's opposition leaders, Mehdi Karroubi, was hit by gunfire in the northern town of Qazvin, his party's website reported on Friday, but only the windows were damaged.
Iran,leader,Karroubi,guns
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2010-17-08
Friday, 08 Jan 2010 11:17 AM
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