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Iranian Forces Kill Two, Arrest Five Sunni Muslim Militants In Southeast Iran

FILE: An Iranian border guard keeps watch at a border post in Milak southeastern Iran, near the Afghan border.

Iranian forces have killed two suspected members of an armed Sunni Muslim group in southeastern Iran and arrested five others, a minister said, accusing Saudi Arabia of "sponsoring terrorists" in the country.

"A group of seven terrorists who wanted to attack a barracks in Chabahar (in Sistan Baluchistan province) was dismantled,"Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said late on June 14.

Two of the five people arrested were from "a neighboring country," and "unfortunately, an intelligence agent was also killed," he said. Iranian state media said the suspects were members of the militant Ansar al-Furqan group.

Sistan-Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, has seen repeated attacks by Sunni militants against security forces.

A second "terrorist group" was broken up in Iranian Kurdistan in the northwest, Alavi said, without elaborating.

"Saudi Arabia is sponsoring terrorist groups in Iran," he said.

Iranian leaders have accused Saudi Arabia of involvement in twin attacks in Tehran on June 7 on the parliament and a religious shrine, although the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

After the assaults, dozens of suspects were arrested in Tehran and in the northwestern provinces of Kermanshah, Kurdistan, and West Azerbaijan, as well as in Sistan-Baluchistan.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

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