Turkey foils attempted kidnapping and trafficking of Iranian soldier

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkish authorities have arrested eight people, including two suspected Iranian operatives, who attempted to kidnap a former Iranian soldier in Iran, the Turkish state agency reported on Wednesday.

The Anadolu agency said the eight people were captured in the eastern province of Van, which borders Iran, in a joint Turkish police and intelligence operation on September 24. A Turkish government official confirmed the arrests on Wednesday but did not elaborate.

Anadolu said Iranian agents were sent to Turkey in an attempt to create a “network” that would kidnap and smuggle the soldier back to Iran. The group reportedly offered the soldier’s wife money to help them abduct him and threatened to harm his family members in Iran if she refused.

One of the suspected agents, identified by his SS initials, was arrested as he tried to enter the soldier’s house, Anadolu reported. The other six members of the alleged network are Turkish citizens, according to the agency.

Anadolu identified the soldier by his initials MA but did not provide further details.

Last year, Turkish officials arrested 11 people suspected of helping Iranian agents smuggle an Iranian dissident back to Iran.

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