Sept 18, 2001 Candle Light Vigil in Tehran

Tuesday September 18 7:30 PM ET

Vigilantes Break Up Tehran Vigil

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Vigilantes broke up a candlelit vigil for the terror victims in America on Tuesday, kicking and arresting people gathered in sympathy for those who perished in New York and Washington.

Onlookers said the vigilantes waded into the crowd of 4,000 mostly young men and women in Madar Square in Tehran, pulled out more than 10 people and handed them over to uniformed police, who looked on without interfering.

``We were beaten up by vigilantes, but still it was worth expressing sympathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks in America,'' student Shokufeh Sadeqi, still holding a lit candle, told The Associated Press.

``We are here tonight to tell the American people that 'we are with you,''' said 20-year-old Mehrdad Hasani.

The crowd marched through the square shouting ``America, condolences'' and ``Death to terrorists,'' when the attackers struck. The vigilantes seemingly operate outside Iranian law and against opponents of the country's hard-line Islamic leaders who hold most of the power. ….