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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Iran press reports Kurdish riots
By Frances Harrison
BBC News, Tehran

The Iranian media has reported more disturbances in Kurdish areas of the country after several days of riots.

Two people were wounded on Monday when "hooligans" caused disorder in the town of Oshnavieh, the hardline newspaper Jumhuri Islami said.

But Kurdish journalists report that three people were killed on Monday and seven died in previous days.

Kurds are saying the unrest is a sign of frustration over the denial of minority rights in Iran.

Chief among these is frustration over the denial of the right to be educated in the Kurdish language.

The Iranian government has said the unrest over the last two weeks is not political at all, but it appears that ethnic resentment is simmering - partly because Kurds see the situation improving next door in Iraq since a Kurd became president there.

The trouble began in Iran two weeks ago when a Kurdish man in the town of Mahabad was shot by police then tied to a car and dragged all the way to the police station, where he was allegedly tortured until he died.

He was accused of calling for autonomy for the whole of Kurdistan and celebrating the appointment in Iraq of Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as president.

When the man's dead body was returned to his family they photographed it and put the pictures on the internet to show he had been tortured.

His funeral sparked unrest and clashes with the police for the next week, which then spread to other Kurdish towns.

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