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The BBC's Jim Muir in Tehran
"The fear is that this could happen almost anywhere"
 real 28k

Monday, 28 August, 2000, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Policeman dead in Iran unrest
Student wounded during a demo in Tehran last July
Many students have been injured in past clashes
One policeman is reported to have been killed and four injured in renewed clashes between supporters of reformist President Mohammad Khatami and their ultra-conservative opponents in the western city of Khorramabad.

The official Iranian News Agency (Irna) said banks, shops and other buildings were damaged during the disturbances on Sunday.

anti-Khatami demo held in Tehran last July
Student unrest highlights political tensions and divisions
The protests first broke out several days ago, after hard-line militants prevented two prominent liberals from addressing a student gathering.

The BBC correspondent in Tehran says the violence in Khorramabad, which is nearly 400km from the capital, is a clear reflection of political divisions between liberals and opponents of reform.

Dozens of people are reported to have been arrested after students clashed with riot police, throwing stones at buildings.

Sharp rift

Reuters news agency quotes a witness saying that about 10,000 people took part in the demonstration to protest at the order to block a nationwide gathering of Iran's biggest pro-reform student organisation.

But the witness said the security forces were now in control of the city.

The largest pro-Khatami party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, has appealed for calm but accused the militant vigilante group of inciting unrest in order to dampen hopes of reform.

The provincial governor and other local officials condemned the right-wing militants.

Our correspondent says officials close to President Khatami are concerned that extremists on both sides of the divide may be eager to resort to violence, silencing the voices of moderation in the centre.

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See also:

20 Aug 00 | Middle East
Iran police face campus ban
05 Aug 00 | Middle East
Iranian reformer arrested
13 Aug 00 | Middle East
Iranian MPs pledge to continue reform
10 Jul 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Khatami's high-risk venture
02 Feb 00 | Middle East
Democracy Iranian style
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