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Iran arrests 'terror' cell in southeast

TEHRAN: Iran arrested a “terrorist cell” accused of killing teachers in a flashpoint border area and detained in a separate incident three Afghans planning to fight in Iraq, media reported Monday.

An undisclosed number of cell members were caught near Sarbaz in the southeast, said a statement from Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) published by the official IRNA news agency.

The report did not give the date of the operation but said those detained had “committed a series of terrorist attacks, including the killing of teachers and Basij (Islamic militia volunteers).”

Sarbaz is in Sistan-Baluchistan province, which borders Pakistan and has a large Sunni community. It is plagued by violence involving Sunni extremists and drug smugglers.

Iran accuses members of the Sunni militant group Jaish-ul Adl (Army of Justice) of carrying out frequent raids.

Three Iranian soldiers were killed last week in Sistan-Baluchistan in an ambush by rebels who then fled into Pakistan.

In a separate incident, three Afghan nationals carrying explosives were arrested by border police close to Iraq, said the semi-official Fars news agency, considered close to the IRGC.

They crossed into Iran and intended to join the Islamic State group in Iraq when they were detained, Brigadier General Qassem Rezayee of the Border Force told Fars. -AFP

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