By Middle East Affairs
Overnight, Gonabadi Sufi order demonstrations left five security officers dead and around 300 arrested, Iranian police said Tuesday.
AFP reports that the demonstrations turned into “running clashes with the police” in northern Tehran on Monday.
One of the clashes culminated with a bus ramming into a group of policemen, leaving three dead.
Sufism is a branch of Islam that is permitted in Iran, but many people refer to it as a cult.
In fact, police spokesman Saeed Montazer Almehdi told a news agency Tuesday, “Two of our dear Basijis were martyred by the superstitious cult.”
The Gonabadis accuse Iran of harassment and discrimination, AFP reports.
According to the news agency, a website linked to the group “indicated the protests were linked to the recent arrest of members of the sect and police efforts to establish security check points near the home of their leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh.”