chanting anti-government slogans. Iran Focus
img">Tehran, 25. Mar At least five people were killed and dozens left injured outside the Azadi stadium in Tehran after anti-government protests erupted at the end of the IranJapan World Cup qualifier football match this evening.
Eye-witnesses reported that the regime used special anti-riot units and hundreds of State Security Forces (SSF) to launch an offensive on the 100,000-strong crowd, after spectators started chanting anti-government slogans.
SSF commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was present at the scene directing the crackdown.
Shortly after the start of the game, young people disfigured large portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini and the current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to witnesses.
Handmade firecrackers were reportedly hurdled at the SSF forces stationed around the stadium. State television stopped broadcasting images from the crowd once smoke from the firecrackers was apparent.
Young people set tires alight in Nour and Sadeqiyeh squares after the match.
Iranian authorities ban women spectators from attending football, yet thousands of women and teenage girls gathered outside the stadium chanting slogans against the ruling authorities.
Protestors chanted slogans calling for the overthrow of the regime and the establishment of democracy in Iran, according to one eye-witness.
Dozens of buses were damaged during the ensuing clashes which lasted for several hours.
There were unconfirmed reports of similar disturbances in several other Iranian cities, where anti-government protestors clashed with security forces.