Dozens arrested during annual festivities in Mashhad
The Mashhad police chief says 60 arrests were made on Tuesday March 18 during Chaharshanbeh Souri events. The Iranian tradition of Chaharshanbeh Souri is to light bonfires on the last Wednesday evening of the year and jump over the fires as well as set off firecrackers.
Islamic Republic authorities are often opposed to customs linked to Iran’s pre-Islamic history, and hardline members of the clergy often declare Chaharshanbeh Souri activities to be against Sharia.
IRNA reports that the Mashhad police chief said: “Sixty people were involved in creating serious disorder on the last Wednesday Eve of the year and were, therefore, arrested.”
The report adds that the police were even attacked by a grenade as they tried to keep order, and a security official who was wounded by it is currently in grave condition.