Iran says members of Kurdish ‘terror network’ arrested

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Iran’s intelligence ministry said Wednesday its officers had arrested 10 members of a “terror network,” in the country’s northwest, affiliated with separatist groups based in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

“All 10 members of this network, who were entering the country through the border areas of West Azerbaijan province and were supported by separatist terrorists in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, were arrested,” the ministry said in a statement.

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It claimed those arrested were planning various acts “ranging from destruction, explosions and attacks on vital and economic centers and facilities of the country, to creating roadblocks and extortion.”

Communication equipment, weapons and ammunition had also been seized, the ministry added.

Iran has in the past blamed “counter-revolutionary” groups based in northeastern Iraq for several attacks on its territory, particularly the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK).

The country’s western and northwestern regions have seen sporadic clashes between its forces and Kurdish rebels over the years, and its military has in the past targeted positions of Kurdish groups in neighboring Iraq.

The intelligence ministry reiterated calls for authorities in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region “to take appropriate action to evacuate terrorist mercenaries, thugs and enemies of the people’s security and peace from that region. ”

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