Kurdish and Iranian opposition reports from northern Iran say thousands of Kurds have rallied this week in the Iranian city Mahabad, to protest the killing of a Kurdish activist by Iranian para-militaries.

The reports are displayed on Kurdish web sites and in the opposition Iran Focus. They say the protests erupted after para-militaries shot and wounded activist Shivane Qadri on Sunday. The attackers then dragged the dying Kurd through a nearby neighborhood from the back of a truck.

Four sources tell VOA's Kurdish service the protests merged with anti-Iranian sentiment that spread on Wednesday when Kurds marked the 16th anniversary of of the assassination of exiled Kurdish leader Abdul Rahman Qassemlou in Vienna.

The sources said 60 to 70 Kurdish protesters have been arrested in Mahabad this week, and say demonstrations were continuing Thursday evening.