Iran opposition leader’s car attacked: party website

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 the town to attend a mourning ceremony for slain opposition protesters organised by a reformist former member of parliament, 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.

A reformist former speaker of parliament, Karroubi stood against hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a June election along with moderate former prime minister Mir Hossein Moussavi.

Both men have charged that the vote was marred by massive fraud and have led a series of mass protests over the months since. —AFP

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