July 21, 2009 / 3:26 PM / 8 years ago

Iran police detain protesters in Tehran clash: witness

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian riot police clashed with hundreds of pro-reform protesters in central Tehran on Tuesday and detained dozens of demonstrators, a witness said, in the latest unrest over last month's disputed election.

The witness said demonstrators were chanting slogans against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the government, including: "Ahmadinejad -- resign, resign" and "Death to dictators."

Police beating protesters who had gathered in Tehran's Haft-e Tir square in defiance of a ban on such demonstrations following the June 12 election, which the opposition says was rigged in favor of Ahmadinejad, the witness said.

"Riot police are taking dozens of protesters into their cars and they are taking them away," the witness said.

"There are hundreds of riot police and plainclothes (security forces), beating people who gathered to support (opposition leader Mirhossein) Mousavi," the witness said.

It came four days after clashes erupted between police and protesters for the first time in weeks on Friday after former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani declared the Islamic Republic in crisis and said there were doubts about the election result.

Editing by Jon Hemming

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