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More details on the dead protesters:

“Three of our compatriots were martyred and two were injured in clashes. The reporter who was on the scene said these three were directly shot at by military forces,” Rahesabz.net, an Iranian opposition website said. The website added that a fourth protester was also killed at a different location in the city centre. “The people are carrying the body of this martyr and are shouting slogans,” it said, citing witnesses.

According to the AFP news agency, police had earlier fired tear gas and used batons to beat back the protesters, who had surged in their thousands on to the streets of the capital for the second straight day chanting anti-government slogans.

Photo: An Iranian opposition protester holds stones as he stands opposite security forces during clashes in Tehran on December 27, 2009. ( -/AFP/Getty Images)

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