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Iran Committee Probing Mass Burial 'Rumor'

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- A member of a parliamentary committee looking into events after Iran's disputed election has said the committee was investigating a rumored "mass burial" in a Tehran cemetery of people killed in postelection protests.

The reformist website Norooznews said last week that tens of people were buried in unnamed graves in the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery on July 12 and 15 -- about a month after the election, which sparked widespread street protests.

Norooz did not say how those who were buried there had died.

"Parliament is investigating a rumor about a mass burial of postvote detainees," the official IRNA news agency quoted MP Hamidreza Katouzian as saying. "We cannot deny or confirm the case at the current time and if it is needed we will visit Behesht-e Zahra."

The losing candidates say 69 people were killed in the unrest, and that some of those detained after the vote were abused and tortured in jail.

The authorities, who reject the abuse charges, say 26 people died during the street protests.