Government supporters hold rally in Tehran

21:56, December 30, 2009      

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An Iranian opposition supporter holds a policeman during clashes in central Tehran December 27, 2009. (Xinhua/Agencies Photo)

Hundreds of thousands of government supporters took to streets across the country on Wednesday to protest against the Sunday "riots" in Tehran.

In the capital of the country, the people gathered in downtown Enghelab (Revolution) square and the nearby streets and condemned the defiling of the Sunday Ashura mourning ceremonies in Tehran.

They chanted slogans in support of Islamic Republic and against the United States and Israel as well as Iran's opposition leaders.

According to the local media, similar rallies were also staged in Iran's other cities on Wednesday.

During the annual Ashura commemorations of Shiite Muslims on Sunday, anti-government protestors clashed with the security forces in Tehran. According to local media, eight people were killed and more than 300 others were arrested.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that the Sunday anti-government protests in Tehran was a play staged by Israel and the United States.

Iran's police vowed to confront anti-government protests severely after the Sunday incident.

The Ashura ritual is performed in Iran and some other countries with large populations of Shiite Muslims.

Source: Xinhua
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