TEHRAN, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Intelligence Ministry said on Friday that its forces have killed two "terrorists" and arrested several others, including ringleaders of the Islamic State (IS), in connection with a recent deadly "terrorist" attack in the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman.
In a statement published on its website, the ministry said the two "terrorists" were both foreign nationals who had entered Iran a few days after the Kerman blasts, planning to carry out another attack.
They were slain in an exchange of fire with ambushed intelligence forces of the province, it noted.
They had been found planning an attack on a law enforcement center in the city and a bomb trap on the route of police reinforcements, it said, adding homemade bombs, detonators, machine guns, magazines, hand grenades, and other bomb-making materials were seized during the operation.
Among the arrested IS ringleaders was "Abu Imran," or Mohammad Imran Tanvir, a bomb-making specialist of affiliated group IS-Khorasan, and Adel Aref, also known as "Adel Panjshiril" who hid in a neighborhood of Tehran.
The bombing attacks were carried out on Jan. 3 near the tomb of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, where thousands of people had gathered to mark the fourth anniversary of his death in a drone strike ordered by then-U.S. President Donald Trump on Jan. 3, 2020.
The IS terrorist group on Jan. 4 claimed responsibility for the bombings, saying two suicide attackers carried out the blasts.
On Jan. 11, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced the arrest of 35 individuals across six provinces in connection with the incident, saying one of the suicide bombers was a Tajik named Abdollah Tajiki. ■