Iran arrests 'PJAK militants backed by US'

Iran said it had arrested members of a Kurdish militant group in a plan of "terrorist attacks" in the Islamic state, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran arrests 'PJAK militants backed by US'

Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested members of an extremist group in the west of the country who had planned to carry out "terrorist attacks" in the Islamic state, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said the group, identified and arrested by the Intelligence Ministry, was armed and guided by American forces, IRNA reported.

Mohammad-Najjar did not identify the group or say whether those detained belonged to Kurdish militant group, based in mountainous areas close to the borders with Iraq and Turkey.

Iranian security forces often clash with guerrillas from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

Like Iraq and Turkey, Iran has a large Kurdish minority, mainly living in the country's northwest and west.

Tehran sees PJAK, which seeks autonomy for Kurdish areas in Iran and shelters in Iraq's northeastern border provinces, as a terrorist group.

Iranian officials accuse the United States and Israel of supporting militants. The United States dismisses such allegations.

Reuters

Last Mod: 20 Nisan 2010, 19:35
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