By Mark Memmott

An Associated Press photographer saw gunmen fire on protesters near Tehran's Azadi Square a short time ago and believes at least one person was killed, the wire service reports.

More than 100,000 people are said to have gathered there, to protest the results of Friday's election -- which the government says was won handily by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Meanwhile, in Washington the State Department has upped the U.S. rhetoric about the situation in Iran. "We are deeply troubled by the reports of violence, arrests and possible voting irregularities," said department spokesman Ian Kelly.

Update at 2:35 p.m. ET. More about the shooting, from the Associated Press:

A group of demonstrators with fuel canisters attempted to set fire to the compound of a volunteer militia linked to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard as the crowd dispersed from Azadi, or Freedom, Square after dark. As some attempted to storm the building, people inside could be seen firing directly at the demonstrators at the northern edge of the square, away from the heart of the demonstration.

Update at 2:15 p.m. ET. The first photo of a body said to be that of a man killed in the shooting has just been released by the Associated Press. It's graphic and we're going to put it behind the "read more" portion of the his post so that if you don't want to see it, you don't have to. If you do, scroll down and click "read more"

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. Some graphic photos are showing up on Flickr. Once you're there, do a search on Iran. This one, from the AP, is showing up on lost of sites. The wire service says the man was injured by the gunfire:

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AP photo

 

Update at 1:35 p.m. ET. The Associated Press just distributed this photo. It reports this man was shot in the leg:

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Ben Curtis/AP

 

NPR's Mike Shuster was at the rally, though not near the scene of the reported violence:

Update at 1:28 p.m. ET. Now, Reuters is leading its story with this:

Iran's hardline Islamic Basij militiamen killed at least one person on Monday and wounded more when their building was attacked by demonstrators protesting an election they say was stolen by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. An Iranian photographer at the scene witnessed the shooting.

Once again, NPR has not independently confirmed this news.

Update at 1:10 p.m. ET. Shots may have been fired by religious militia.

Reuters is reporting that:

Armed men fired on people at a rally held by supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi on Monday, killing one person and wounding many, a witness said. The witness, an Iranian photographer, said people in the crowd had attacked a building housing members of the Basij religious militia, who then opened fire.

Update at 1:05 p.m. ET: The BBC is reporting that shots were fired in the square.

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET: The person who's tweeting as persiankiwi says "there is gunfire coming from direction of Azadi square; we are trying to get info." (NPR has not independently verified that account.)

REMINDER: If you click "read more" you'll be taken to the AP photo of a man shot and killed near the protest today. It is graphic and may not be something you wish to see.

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The body of a man allegedly shot and killed by pro-government militia near the rally in Tehran.Vahid Salemi/AP

 

categories: Foreign News

12:48 - June 15, 2009