The death toll continues to rise in Iran, as clashes between reformist activists and government security forces turned dramatically deadly Sunday, during the Shia holiday of Ashura. Demonstrators who reject the rule of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had planned widespread protests for the holiday, and the rallies have left more than nine dead and many more injured. In anticipation of the uprising, the government ordered a crackdown on opposition protesters and gave the OK to open fire. "The security forces began shooting at people. I saw one guy with his brains blown out," one witness said. The nephew of reformist leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is among those reported killed. In return, demonstrators have retaliated forcefully; videos posted on YouTube show security agents being attacked and bloodied. The lethal actions of the security forces could lead to a cycle of mourning ceremonies, which may usher in an endless cycle of violence. Political analysts fear that the culmination of events could pave the way to the collapse of the Islamic regime and Iran's political system.