In Iran, three civilians were accidentally wounded on Thursday (2 August) when an Iranian soldier opened fire near the troubled Kurdish town of Marivan.
In Iran, three civilians were accidentally wounded on Thursday (2 August) when an Iranian soldier opened fire near the troubled Kurdish town of Marivan. Some five thousand Kurds marched into Marivan on Wednesday (1 August), to press their demands for self-rule. Most of the eleven thousand residents of the town -- located near the Iraqi border -- fled into the countryside, following heavy fighting two weeks ago, in which twenty-two people were killed.
SYNOPSIS: Most of the townspeople of Marivan have sought refuge in a forest about fifteen kilometres (nine miles) away. They left their homes secretly one night after violent clashes between local ??? and Islamic Revolutionary Guards. They are refusing to return to their homes until the Islamic Guards have gone. About five hundred members of the Islamic guard and the local army are quartered in the town. The Iranian army has been moving reinforcements up to the Kurdish areas in an attempt to regain control of the sensitive western border which has been in guerrilla hands since the February revolution.
The refugees have moved into primitive huts made of leaves and branches and set up makeshift shops selling goods ranging from kerosene lamps to water melons. The camp incLudes a clinic, a library and a rations store where they can get free sugar, rice, tea, potatoes and other essentials, donated by Kurish organisations. The temperature drops sharply at night in this mountain valley but the refugees say they would rater live a simple life here than live in fear in Marivan. Kurds in their traditional baggy trousers and colourful headscarves guard the camp with automatic rifles, and sentinels are posted along the road to Marivan. Feeling against the Islamic guards runs high. They have been brought from non-Kurdish areas and the locals fear they have come to occupy the town.
Thousands of Kurds, escorted by armed guerrillas, have converged on Marivan to support the refugees' demand for the withdrawal of the Islamic guards. The Iranian authorities released sixteen Kurdish prisoners on Tuesday (31 July), in a move to appease the demonstrators and put forward a peace settlement which provides for the gradual withdrawal of the guards. But this has been firmly rejected by the townspeople.