In Iran, witnesses to major demonstrations in the capital, Teheran, say troops fired on several thousand people who defied martial law to oppose the Shah, killing 10 of them.
In Iran, witnesses to major demonstrations in the capital, Teheran, say troops fired on several thousand people who defied martial law to oppose the Shah, killing 10 of them. Martial law was declared after a day of protests during which hundreds of thousands of people marched and openly shouted in the streets of Teheran for the Shah' overthrow and a new government. The government says the opposition is foreign-inspired.
SYNOPSIS: The violence flared after a day of demonstrations that had been peaceful by comparison. The declaration of martial law, and the appearance of columns of troops, brought demonstrators onto the streets. Soon the roads were littered with debris, cars were afire, and buildings burning. The government has been troubled for several months by political and religious unrest, and this latest turmoil closely followed the end of the fast of Ramadan. The martial law declaration was broadcast on early-morning radio bulletins. Then the violence blazed.
The toll of deaths and damage was not quickly established, but witnesses said destruction was considerable. After martial law was declared, truck-loads of troops were moved in to guard police stations in Teheran, but this building did not escape the expressions of anti-government feeling.
Reuters reports that the anti-Shah activity is the most virulent in Teheran since the monarch took the throne in 1941. The Shah has pledged himself to modernise the country, but the demonstrators have demanded a republican Islamic government. As expressions of dissent, rocks were thrown and vehicles burned. Hospitals reported hundreds treated for bullet wounds.