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Monday, July 12, 1999 Published at 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK

World: Middle East

Picture gallery: Anger in Tehran

Thousands of demonstrators have poured on to the streets of Tehran since Thursday when a police raid on a student hostel left at least one person dead and dozens injured.

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Several people were arrested on Monday as protests in the centre of the capital ended in clashes with anti-riot police.

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Students have been venting their anger outside Tehran University. They are demanding the punishment of those behind Thursday's raid which was blamed on police and vigilantes.

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The students, who support reformist President Mohammad Khatami, are also calling for the resignation of the powerful hard-liners in the Islamic government.

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The demonstrations are the strongest show of dissent since the 1979 revolution. President Khatami has appealed for calm but the protests have already spread to cities outside Tehran.

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Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who is linked to the hardliners, has urged his supporters not to resort to violence even if the protesters start burning his image. Many were overcome during his address on Monday.

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