An Iranian opposition leader on Monday condemned the killing of protesters during Shi'ite Islam's most important observance.
Mahdi Karroubi, a candidate who lost in June's disputed presidential election, posted a statement on his Web site asking how the government could spill the blood of its people on the sacred day of Ashoura. He said even the former Shah's regime respected the holy day.
The violence erupted Sunday when security forces fired on stone-throwing protesters in the center of Iran. Opposition Web sites and witnesses say at least five people were killed, making it one of the bloodiest confrontations in months.
Police denied using firearms.