Middle East More arrests in Iran, mastermind of Tehran twin attacks killed

By Friday, authorities had already announced the arrests of 41 suspected accomplices in connection with the attacks by five armed men on Tehran's parliament complex and the shrine of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran said its security forces on Saturday killed the mastermind of the attacks, and arrested seven people suspected of helping the militants.

On Saturday, intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi said the alleged mastermind behind the attacks had been tracked down and killed outside the country.

Alavi did not provide further details or offer any evidence.

At least 12 people were killed when six attackers mounted simultaneous gun and suicide bomb attacks on Iran's Parliament building and the tomb of the republic's revolutionary founder, in one of the most audacious assaults to hit Tehran in decades.

The Iranian Students' News Agency (IRNA) quoted a ministry statement that provided the identities of the attackers, who, the ministry said, had fought for Daesh in the Syrian city of Raqqah and the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Officials have reported the arrests of suspected IS members in and around Tehran, as well as in the country's centre, southern governorates, and western provinces near the Iraqi border.

The Vatican on Friday sent a message of condolence for the victims of the attack.

The ministry said the group returned to Iran in the summer of 2016 to carry out terrorist operations in religious places, and escaped when authorities broke up their cell.

According to media outlets, the five assailants failed to reach their targets (the Majlis floor and the shrine) and were killed outside.

But Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said "we still can not judge that Saudi Arabia has had a role in this terrorist incident".

IS has claimed responsibility for this week's twin attack in Tehran.

Tehran hit out at Washington and Riyadh as tens of thousands attended the funerals Friday for those slain in the first attacks in Iran claimed by the Islamic State group.

IS has long vowed to attack Iran because the country had deployed military advisers and support to both Syria and Iraq in their fights against the extremist group.

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