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Friday, 7 January, 2000, 15:06 GMT Iranian police disperse rally Police in Iran have broken up a rally attended by several hundred people in the north-west city of Tabriz. The National Liberation Movement of Southern Azerbaijan (NLMSA), representing ethnic Azeris from Iran, said 17 people were injured as... show more Friday, 7 January, 2000, 15:06 GMT
Iranian police disperse rally
Police in Iran have broken up a rally attended by several hundred people in the north-west city of Tabriz.
The National Liberation Movement of Southern Azerbaijan (NLMSA), representing ethnic Azeris from Iran, said 17 people were injured as police dispersed the protesters.
But other reports said the demonstration was peaceful.
The protest by between 400 and 500 people was held in the Gyrkhmetri and Davachi suburbs of Tabriz, where many ethnic Azeris live.
Arrests
The head of the National Liberation Movement of Southern Azerbaijan, Piruz Dilenchy, told Reuters news agency about 20 people had been arrested on Thursday and about 150 on Friday.
He said 17 people had been taken to hospital with injuries after police wielding clubs broke up the demonstrations.
Mr Dilenchy said the protesters' main demand was the withdrawal of about 700 troops who arrived in Tabriz on Thursday.
Tabriz has a large community of Turkic-speaking ethnic Azeris.
Some Azeri nationalists in the ex-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan say they want to unite their country with parts of Iran inhabited by their ethnic kin, which they refer to as Southern Azerbaijan.
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