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Iran: 12 students reported killed in crackdown after violent clashes
At least 12 people may have died in violent clashes with Iran's security forces following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election, according to reports from the country.
The reported fatalities have come amid a brutal crackdown on students, apparently aimed at quelling a wave of campus rebellions that authorities fear could spill over to the wider population.
A Farsi website, Balatarin, carried an unconfirmed report that seven people had been killed in the southern city of Shiraz following confrontations with riot police at the local university. Five busloads of plainclothes officers had been sent to confront the demonstrators during Sunday's protests, but were said to have been unable to prevent them from being joined by members of the public and marching to one of the city's main squares. It is unclear whether all those said to have died were students.
The Guardian understands that five students may also have died in clashes at Tehran University early on Sunday. The students – named as Fatemeh Barati, Kasra Sharafi, Mobina Ehterami, Kambiz Shoaee and Mohsen Imani – are believed to have been buried today in Behesht-e-Zahra, a famous cemetery in Tehran, reportedly without their families being informed.
Autnews, a student website, claimed that plain clothes officers used firearms against students after forcing their way onto the campus. Students were said to have sought refuge in toilets after police raided halls of residence, where rooms were ransacked and beds set on fire.
Tonight Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's parliament, appointed a committee of MPs to investigate the reports.
The reported fatalities appeared to be backed up by one witness, who said a force of around 300 plainclothes and riot police joined basij forces (militia volunteers) to attack the students.