Iranian Revolutionary Guards killed 100 antigovernment insurgents in a two-day battle in northwestern Iran, and two earthquakes shook central Iran, killing at least 26 people, the official Pars News Agency reported yesterday.
The report of the clashes in West Azerbaijan Province came two days after violent demonstrations in several Iranian cities, including Qom, where protestors tore up pictures of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Pars said two strong earthquakes that shook Tehran, Qom and more than a dozen other cities and towns early yesterday registered 5.7 on the Richter scale. Tehran radio said the quake, centered about 125 miles southwest of Tehran, caused "considerable" damage to Moslem shrines in Qom, the Shiite Moslem holy city where Khomeini formerly made his home. The second quake hit hours later and was registered by the Hagfors Observatory in Stockholm at 5.9 on the open-ended scale.
Tehran radio said the first quake killed eight people in Qom and "fractured" the gold dome of the Massoumeh shrine in the Shiite city 80 miles south of Tehran.
The two-day battle in West Azerbaijan, a province peopled mostly by ethnic Turks with a minority of Kurds, left at least 124 dead -- 100 rebels and 24 Revolutionary Guards, Pars said. The report did not identify the "counterrevolutionary agents" it said were killed.