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'Shots Fired' At Iranian Opposition Leader Karrubi's Car


Mehdi Karrubi (file photo)

Mehdi Karrubi (file photo)

TEHRAN -- Iranian media report that shots were fired at the car of one of the country's main opposition leaders, Mehdi Karrubi, late on January 7.

His son, Hossein Karrubi, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Karrubi was not injured in the incident, which took northwest of Tehran.

Hossein Karrubi said his father had been invited to the northwestern town of Qazvin by a former parliament deputy, Naser Ghavami.

He was to attend a religious ceremony marking Moharram, an important month in the Shi'ite calendar.

Hossein Karrubi said that trouble started minutes after his father arrived at Ghavami's home.

"After a short while, buses belonging to the militia arrived, bringing nearly 500 people. According to [my father's] security guards and entourage, most of them were armed and [some] were soldiers and army officers," he said.

He said the men surrounded the home, chanting progovernment slogans and insulting Karrubi. He added that they also threw stones and bricks at the residence, breaking windows.

Four hours later, with police assistance, Karrubi left the house by car. While he was driving away past the crowd, eggs and bricks struck the bulletproof car, Hossein Karrubi said.

Someone "fired two bullets, one at the rear window breaking the outer pane but leaving the inner pane untouched. Another bullet hit the front window, shattering it," but no one was hurt, he said.

Asked if his father intended to file a complaint over the incident, Hossein Karrubi replied that such action would be pointless. "Part of our judiciary belongs to the army, so what can he really do?" he said.

There's been no official response so far about the incident.

If confirmed, the shooting would be a rare armed attack on an opposition leader.

The incident comes amid a crackdown on Iran's opposition following deadly clashes between security forces and opposition supporters last month.

At least eight people died during the December 27 clashes, including a nephew of another opposition leader, Mir Hossein Musavi.

It was the worst unrest since the protests that followed June's disputed reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Authorities and influential clerics have warned that opposition activists risk execution if they continue antigovernment demonstrations.

Niusha Boghrati of RFE/RL’s Radio Farda and Michael Hirshman contributed to this report
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