Teheran attacks mastermind killed - Iranian minister

Iranian policemen evacuate a child from the parliament building in Tehran

Iranian policemen evacuate a child from the parliament building in Tehran

On Saturday, the Iranian security forces killed the mastermind behind the terror attacks on the country's Parliament and on the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Attacks are highly rare in Tehran and other major Iranian cities, although a Sunni militant group named Jundallah and its splinter group, Ansar al Furqan, have been waging a deadly insurgency, mostly in more remote areas, for nearly a decade.

Iran says the attackers, who were all killed, had fought for the IS group in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

In the wake of the attacks, Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard also released a statement implying that the US and Saudi Arabia were to blame.

He called the choice of words "repugnant" and said Iran rejects the United States' claims of friendship.

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The assaults have further fueled tension between Riyadh and Tehran as they vie for control of the Gulf and influence in the wider Islamic world. The ministry released their photographs and first names, and said they were part of a network that entered Iran in July-August 2016 under the leadership of "high-ranking Daesh commander" Abu Aisha intending to carry out "terrorist operations in religious cities".

Last Wednesday's rare and coordinated attacks on Tehran left dozens of people wounded.

"With the help of security forces and families of the suspects, 41 people linked to the attacks and to Daesh (Islamic State) have been arrested in different provinces", state TV quoted the interior ministry as saying.

The ministry also published pictures of their corpses.

He added: "The US must know that the Islamic Republic will not back down from positions such as battling oppression and defending Palestine and will spare no efforts towards defending the people's rights".

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also condemned as "repugnant" Trump's response to the twin terror attacks.

The White House released a statement from Trump condemning the terrorist attacks in Tehran and offering condolences, but also implying that Iran is itself a sponsor of terrorism.

"The parliament will spare no efforts in lending support to the Revolutionary Guards, the Qods forces and the country's defense might". It was not clear when the five men returned to Iran.

The U.S. statement of solidarity with the attack's victims is notable because of the deep distrust between the U.S. and Iran.

Iran has a sizeable Sunni population along its restive borders with Iraq and Pakistan from which IS is hoping to recruit.

Egypt army says 12 militants killed in North Sinai
Police attempted to arrest the militants, the ministry said in a statement, but they shot at the force leading to a firefight. Egypt's army and police have been fighting an insurgency in parts of North Sinai for the past few years.

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