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Iran: Activists arrested before expected protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Iran's top police official says authorities have made a series of arrests of suspected opposition activists before expected protest rallies Thursday.

Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam says people accused of planning demonstrations were among those arrested. But Moghaddam (Mo-GHA-dam) did not give any specific figures Wednesday on the number of arrests, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.

Iranian officials are vowing to crush any anti-government rallies Thursday that could mar state-backed celebrations for the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. But opposition Web sites are appealing for a large turnout.

At least eight people were killed in clashes during the last major anti-government marches in late December.

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