TEHRAN: Iranian authorities have arrested 28 people linked to the militant Islamic State group for plotting to target Tehran during the anniversary of last year’s protests, the intelligence ministry said on Sunday.

The protests erupted after the death in custody on September 16, 2022, of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd arrested for allegedly flouting the Islamic republic’s dress code for women.

“In recent days, during a series of simultaneous operations in Tehran, Alborz and West Azer­baijan provinces, several terrorist bases and team houses were attacked, and 28 members of the said terrorist network were arrested,” the ministry said on its website.

“These elements are affiliated to the professional crime group of Daesh (Islamic State group) and some of them have a history of accompanying takfiris in Syria or being active in Afghan­istan, Pakistan and the Kurdistan region of Iraq,” it added.

The intelligence ministry said two security personnel were wounded during the arrest operations, and a number of bombs, firearms, suicide vests and communications devices were seized.

It said it had neutralised a plot to “carry out 30 simultaneous terrorist explosions in densely populated centres of Tehran to undermine security and incite riots and protests on the anniversary of last year’s riots”.

The months-long demonstrations saw hundreds of people killed, including dozens of security personnel, in “riots”.

On Thursday, a court sentenced to death a Tajik IS militant convicted over a deadly gun attack on a Shia shrine in August.

The attack on the Shah Cheragh mausoleum in Shiraz came less than a year after a mass shooting at the same site that was later claimed by the militant IS group.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2023

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