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Iran claims arrest of 44 terrorism suspects

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's state TV said Tuesday that the country's intelligence agency has arrested 44 suspects charged with terrorist activities.

The report quoted the intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, as saying "more than 20 terrorist suspects" were detained at the border before crossing into Iraq and Syria to join militants there. He didn't elaborate but the implication was the suspects have links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Alavi also said about 24 suspects were detained in various Iranian cities for unspecified terror activities. He did not identify any of the suspects.

Iran backs Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and also Iraq's Shiite-dominated authorities and has provided both with advisers and military assistance in the fight against ISIS.

Tehran occasionally announces the arrests or capture of terror suspects, without releasing more details.