Azerbaijan says it busts alleged pro-Iran group

AP News
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Posted: Feb 21, 2012 3:30 PM
Azerbaijan says it busts alleged pro-Iran group

Azerbaijan's security agency said Tuesday it has busted a suspected terrorist group working for Iran's secret services, the second such claim this year as tensions rise between the two neighbors.

The National Security Ministry said in a statement carried by Azerbaijan's state television that it had arrested an unspecified number of people suspected of preparing terror attacks against foreign citizens at Iran's behest.

The people were gathering intelligence and had acquired a large number of weapons and explosives, the ministry said. It gave no further details.

Azerbaijan last month announced the arrest of two local residents accused of plotting to kill two teachers at a Jewish school in Baku on Iranian orders. Iran, in turn, has accused Azerbaijan of turning a blind eye to Israeli intelligence operations on its soil.

The ministry's announcement came hours after authorities arrested some 20 young people in Baku's suburb of Nardaran. Authorities gave no information about the arrests, but some local media reported that a nephew of the alleged mastermind of January's botched plot was among those arrested.