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Iranian Kurds Clash With Police

15 June 2005 (RFE/RL) - The official news agency IRNA says hundreds of Iranian Kurds have clashed with police in the northwestern Iranian town of Mahabad.

The rioting came as Iran is due to elect a new president on 17 June. It was sparked by news from across the border in Iraq that former rebel leader Mas'ud Barzani was sworn in as the first president of Iraqi Kurdistan.

IRNA said a number of vehicles and shop fronts were damaged when a group of people numbering around 300 took to the streets of the town on Tuesday.

The news agency reported that the unrest died down shortly before midnight. It said Mahabad's main street was littered with stones, bricks, shattered mosaics and destroyed election-campaign posters.