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Thursday, July 09, 2009
Tehran explodes again

The Associated Press is reporting that after days of Mir Hossein Mousavi calling for new protests,

Hundreds of young men chanted “death to the dictator” and fled baton-wielding police in the capital Thursday as opposition activists sought to revive street protests despite authorities’ vows to “smash” any new marches.

Still, a group of around 300 young people gathered in front of Tehran University and began to chant, "Death to the dictator," witnesses said. Many of them wore green surgical masks, the color of Mousavi's movement.

Police charged at them, swinging batons, but the protesters fled, then regrouped at another corner and resumed chanting, the witnesses said. Police chased them repeatedly as the protesters continued to regroup, the witnesses said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared government retribution.

Within an hour, the number of protesters grew to about 700 and marched toward the gates of Tehran University, the witnesses said. A line of policemen blocked their path, but they did nothing to disperse the gathering as the protesters stood and continued to chant, the witnesses said.

Ahead of Thursday's planned march, authorities appeared to have taken a number of other steps to prevent participation. SMS mobile phone messaging was down Thursday for a third straight day — a step believed to be aimed at thwarting protesters' communications. A similar cutoff took place from the election until a week ago, amid the height of the protests.

The news is coming in fast, more in a minute...

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posted at 8:37 AM

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