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posted August 03, 2001 09:42     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Police arrest 20 rioters in western Iran - source

Hamedan, Iran, July 31, IRNA -- Police had to make 20 arrests from among some 300 rioters in a village in western Iran to put an end to the unrest which left a policeman slightly injured, a reliable source confirmed Tuesday. The source, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, told IRNA that the riots broke out after some 300 villagers from Shaahanjerin (some 100 kilometers from Hamedan) attacked the "Hegmatan Cement Factory" in the village to protest against lay-off of a laborer from the factory.

"The rioters entered the building, smashed the windows and lab equipment, and damaged the building," the source said.

He added that the protestors also complained that the administrative status of their village should change from "village" to "city."

"Police had to intervene to halt the four-hour riot," he said, adding investigations are underway to identify the instigators of the incident.

Over the past month, the public anger over economic problems is rising and laborers have been taking to streets to protest mass layoffs and defaults on payments by employers. Labor protests have stepped up over the past few months.

Some 30 million of Iran's 62-million-strong population are under the age of 25, and an estimated one million are ready to enter the job market every year.

Industrial workers, who represent some 25 percent of the nations' active workforce, and farmers count as the main victims of the sluggish economy.

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