An Iranian doctor who claims he tried to save Neda Agha Soltan as the young Iranian protester bled to death on the streets of Teheran said Thursday that she was shot by a member of Iran's pro-government Basij militia.
Soltan was fatally shot in the chest as she stood at the fringes of a protest in Teheran against government election fraud on Saturday evening.
Graphic cellphone footage of the 27-year-old's death, which shows her lying on the ground as blood pours from her mouth and nose, spread like wildfire throughout various media outlets, within the blogosphere and among social networks such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. This has made Soltan, whose first name means "voice" or "call" in Farsi, an international icon and a rallying cry for Iran's new revolutionaries.
Dr. Arash Hejazi told the British Broadcasting Corp. that he was one of those men who tried to save her.
The protesters first thought the gunshot had come from a nearby rooftop, but later spotted an armed member of Iran's Basij militia on a motorcycle, and stopped and disarmed him, the doctor said.
The man shouted "I didn't want to kill her," but the furious protesters confiscated his identity card and took photographs of him before letting him go, Hejazi said.