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Iran arrests IS-linked group planning attacks on religious sites

Iranian security agencies have arrested members of a group linked to the Islamic State which was planning to target religious centres across the country.

world Updated: Jun 24, 2017 22:39 IST
Iran intelligence ministry,group linked to Islamic State,suicide attacks
File photo of an armed man standing at a window of Iran’s Parliament building during an attack by Islamic State-linked militants in Tehran. (AP)

Iranian security forces have arrested members of a group linked to the Islamic State which had planned bombings and suicide attacks in religious centres across the country, state television reported on Saturday.

Intelligence ministry agents “were able to arrest a group linked to Daesh (Islamic State) that intended to carry out terror operations in religious cities ...and (seized) explosive and suicide attack equipment,” state television reported.

The report did not elaborate on the number of people detained, or where the arrests took place.

Authorities seized three Kalashnikov assault rifles, a machine-gun fitted with a silencer, three suicide belts, night vision goggles, explosives and bomb-making equipment, three phones for remote detonation and a large amount of bullets.

The arrests came days after Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired missiles from western Iran into eastern Syria, aiming at bases of the Islamic State which had claimed responsibility for twin attacks in Tehran that killed 18 people and wounded more than 50 on June 7.

Five attackers linked to IS stormed Iran’s parliament and the mausoleum of the Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini this month, exacerbating regional tensions.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said afterwards the raids would increase hatred for Saudi Arabia, the region’s main Sunni power, and America.

First Published: Jun 24, 2017 22:39 IST