TEHRAN: Iranian security forces armed with batons and tear gas clashed with mourners at a memorial service for dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.
Hundreds of police and security force members surrounded the Seyed mosque in Isfahan where the service was to be held and prevented mourners from entering, sparking fierce clashes.
One opposition website said tear gas and pepper gas were used against people gathering for the memorial service, while another said women and children were among those beaten up.
Some opposition supporters were injured and more than 50 arrested.
Mourners poured out in thousands into the streets leading to the mosque, although anti-riot police and plainclothes Basij militiamen had blocked the neighbourhood. The security forces are bracing for more protests in the coming days.
Police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moqadam warned the pro-reform opposition of "fierce" confrontation if it continued its "illegal" activities.