Three police officers were killed in Tehran on Monday, a police spokesman said, as clashes broke out with members of a Muslim religious order seen as a threat to the Shi’ite theocratic establishment.
Video footage posted on social media on Monday evening showed clashes between security forces and members of the Gonabadi Dervishes, an order following the mystical Sufi strain of Islam. They had gathered in front of a police station, demanding the release of some members of their sect.
“Some disruptors of security and order used a bus today and killed three police officers … The murderers were arrested seconds after their crime,” police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi said on state television.
A video on social media showed a white bus ploughing through a group of around 40 riot police officers in a narrow street. The bus also strikes several parked cars as it tries to escape the scene. The video’s authenticity could not be verified.
Fars news agency reported that the driver was a member of the Sufi sect. It also said several police officers and pedestrians had been injured.