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Iran Frees 40 Detained During Anti-U.S. Rally


TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran has released a further 40 people detained during an opposition demonstration last week that led to clashes with police, state media has said.

Tehran's public prosecutors' office said several other detainees, including some who had expressed regret over taking part in the rally, had been released in recent days, student news agency ISNA and the Fars news agency said.

On November 7 the official agency IRNA said 47 people had been released out of 109 detained for "disturbing public order" during the November 4 rally to mark the anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979.

Security forces clashed with supporters of Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi in Tehran when an annual state-organized rally marking the 30th anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy turned violent.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards and their allied Basij militia had warned the opposition not to try to hijack the rally to revive protests against the clerical establishment after June's disputed presidential election.

Defeated presidential candidates Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who say they are committed to reform, had urged supporters to take to the streets to protest against the government, despite warnings.

Big street protests broke out after the June election, which the opposition says was rigged to secure President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection.
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