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ISIS ‘will target mosques’ in Iran

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The terror group is calling for the destruction of the Saudi-backed Ahmadi community in Iran, which includes Shia Muslim followers of the prophet Muhammad.

“The people of Iran, especially those belonging to the Shia Muslim community, will be targeted,” Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, wrote in a message posted on Telegram, a social media app.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has previously warned that attacks against Saudi-funded mosques could result in “mass casualties”.

The Islamic State also said on Telegram that it would target mosques and holy shrines.

Baghdadi’s message is the first direct threat to Iranian-Saudi relations since the Islamic Republic signed a nuclear deal with the US and other Western nations in January that lifted economic sanctions imposed by Tehran following the 2011 uprising that toppled Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Last week, the Islamic Emirate of Yemen, which the United States designated a foreign terrorist organisation in August, issued a warning that attacks would be “expedient” and would include attacks on the Saudi embassy and other locations.

The Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen in late 2015, targeting positions and weapons depots used by the rebels.

Since then, Riyadh has launched air raids against Houthis and forces loyal to ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain also launched air strikes on Yemen.

In September, a coalition of countries launched a “surge” in air strikes in Yemen, targeting Houthi targets.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain said they would not use force against the Houthis. Reuters

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