(Reuters) - Iranian security forces killed two militants and arrested 14 in two separate operations carried out in the western part of the country, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Monday, quoted by the IRIB news agency.
He did not specify when the operations took place.
Alavi said that at least some of the militants were linked to one of the countries on Iran’s western border, but did not elaborate on the identity of the militants.
Iran borders in the west with Iraq and Turkey. In recent months, the Revolutionary Guards have clashed several times in western Iran with militants who have crossed the border from Iraq, resulting in casualties on both sides.
“The team of imported militant terrorists who had entered the country with the goal of carrying out destructive and terrorist acts were identified and thwarted before they could carry out any destructive acts,” Alavi said.
Iranian security officials generally use the word “terrorists” to refer to Sunni Muslim militants, who are sworn enemies of Shi’ite Iran.
Grenades, AK-47 assault rifles and communication equipment were apprehended along with one group of militants, Alavi said.
Iran’s border with Iraq is porous and there is little coordination between the security forces in either country.
In June 2017, Islamic State militants carried out coordinated attacks at the parliament building in Tehran and the mausoleum of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini south of the capital, killing at least 18 people.
Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh, editing by Andrei Khalip