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Russia arrests 'Islamic State' members over terror plot

Russian security service FSB has discovered a bomb-making laboratory in Yekaterinburg and arrested seven suspected terrorists, security officials said. The cell allegedly plotted attacks in Moscow and St Petersburg.

The seven suspects arrested in Yekaterinburg were all members of the "Islamic State" (IS) terror militia, FSB said on Monday.

According to the intelligence agency, the dismantled "criminal group" was preparing "major acts of terror using home-made explosive devices" in Moscow, Russia's second largest city St Petersburg, and the Yekaterinburg region.

The FSB agents also found explosives, detonators, and grenades, as well as weapons and extremist literature during a series of raids on suspects' homes.

The authorities also raided a bomb-making laboratory in Yekaterinburg, said FSB, the successor agency to the communist-era KGB.

"It was established that after the terror acts, those detained had planned to leave for Syria to take part in military action in the ranks of Islamic State," they said a statement.

Some of the suspects are Russian citizens, while others hail from Central Asian countries, according to the agency. An IS fighter who allegedly arrived to Russia from Turkey is believed to be the leader of the terror cell.

IS plotting in Russia

The group has been charged with terrorism and illegal position of weapons and explosives.

Russian air force is currently conducting a bombing campaign in Syria, targeting the IS and other rebel groups and providing military support to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.

The IS has claimed responsibility for an alleged bombing that brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt in October 2015.

Last month, authorities in the Caucasus region of Russia announced the capture of nine IS members, claiming that the group was also planning terror strikes.

dj/jil (Reuters, dpa, Interfax)

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