Security forces kill three militants in southeast Iran

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Iran has arrested almost 50 members of militant group after the first Islamic State attack in the country

An Iranian policeman takes cover during an attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran, Iran, 7 June 2017 (Reuters)
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Thursday 15 June 2017 9:48 UTC
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Iranian forces killed three members of a militant group in the city of Chabahar on Wednesday and arrested five others, state media reported, as security forces stepped up measures to prevent attacks.

Last week, suicide bombers and gunmen attacked parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini's mausoleum in Tehran, killing 17 people in what was an unprecedented security breach for the Islamic Republic.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility and threatened more attacks against Iran's population.

Iran has arrested almost 50 people in connection with the attacks. On Wednesday, state media reported that security forces had fought with members of Ansar al-Furqan, a militant group, in Chabahar, southeastern Iran.

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State media said three militants had been killed and five arrested. One security officer was also killed and one wounded. Authorities said they had found ammunition, explosive belts and weapons.

Ansar al-Furqan - or Partisans of the Criterion - is a militant group in Sistan and Baluchistan province that has threatened to carry out suicide attacks on economic and military centres in revenge for the government's execution of Sunni prisoners.

The group, which was formed by the merger of some Baluch insurgent groups in 2012, is not linked to Islamic State. But it has carried out periodic attacks on military and civilian targets, aiming to highlight what it says is discrimination against Iran's Sunni ethnic groups.