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State Media: Partial Vote Recount Planned in Iran


nian state media report Iran's Guardian Council is prepared to recount disputed ballot boxes from Friday's presidential election.

Tuesday's news of a partial recount follows three days of sometimes violent demonstrations in Tehran, as protesters denounce what they say is President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's fraudulent election victory.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had asked the powerful Guardian Council of Islamic clerics to investigate allegations of voter fraud.

But defeated reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi issued an even broader appeal - he urged the Council to cancel the election results.

Mr. Ahmadinejad says the election was free and fair.

Demonstrators from both the pro-Ahmadinejad and the pro-opposition camps are planning to hold rallies in the same square in Tehran on Tuesday.

An aide to Mr. Mousavi says the former prime minister is urging his supporters not to attend in a bid to avoid any violence, adding that he will not attend either.

The pro-Ahmadinejad rally is set to begin at least one hour before the pro-opposition gathering.

Iranian officials have placed restrictions of foreign media ahead of the rallies.

Iranian state television said at least seven people were killed Monday near the site of a massive pro-opposition rally in Tehran when demonstrators allegedly tried to attack a military post.

The Press TV report Tuesday says several others were injured when unidentified gunmen fired into the crowd around sundown after a peaceful rally.

Earlier eyewitness reports said protesters had set fire to the militia headquarters, and armed members of the pro-government militia started shooting at one point, killing at least one activist.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians flooded the streets of the capital Monday to see and hear Mr. Mousavi, a former prime minister. He told the crowd through a loudspeaker that people want to defend their votes and their rights.

Official results said Mr. Ahmadinejad won re-election with 63 percent of the vote, compared to 34 percent for Mr. Mousavi, his main rival.

Riot police were visible during Monday's opposition rally, but they took no action to disperse the crowd.

Mr. Ahmadinejad himself is out of the country. He arrived in Russia Tuesday to attend a regional summit, one day later than originally planned.

Separately Tuesday, aides of prominent Iranian reformist Mohammad Ali Abtahi say he has been arrested, but they did not provide further details.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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