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Iran says holds suspects in general's killing

TEHRAN, June 21 (Reuters) - Iranian security forces have arrested several members of an armed opposition group suspected of involvement in the assassination of a top general in April, Iran's intelligence minister said on Monday.

Ali Yunesi also said that one member of the Iraq-based Mujahideen Khalq group was killed in a clash with security forces in Southern Iran, where the other suspects in the killing of Lieutenant General Ali Sayyad Shirazi were arrested, state television reported.

Yunesi said security officials had foiled ``several plots'' by the Mujahideen using information obtained from those arrested, who he said were the main people behind the general's killing, the television added. He did not give further details.

The Mujahideen, who are fighting to topple Iran's Islamic government, claimed responsibility for the killing of Sayyad Shirazi. The general, Iran's armed forces deputy joint chief of staff, was shot dead outside his home in Tehran by gunmen disguised as street cleaners.

The killing was the latest of a series of political murders and attacks by the outlawed group, including the assassination in August of a former prison chief. Iranian officials vowed to avenge Sayyad Shirazi's killing.

Baghdad and the Mujahideen have blamed Tehran for several recent attacks on Mujahideen forces in Iraq, including a car bomb explosion which killed six group members and one Iraqi. Iran declined to comment on the charges.


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