ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities have detained eight people, including two alleged Iranian agents, who attempted to abduct a former Iranian soldier back to Iran, Turkey’s state-run agency reported Wednesday.
The Anadolu Agency said the eight were caught in the eastern province of Van, which borders Iran, in a joint operation by Turkey’s police and intelligence agency on Sept. 24. A Turkish government official confirmed the arrests on Wednesday but did not elaborate.
Anadolu said the Iranian agents were sent to Turkey with the purpose of creating a “network” that would kidnap and smuggle the soldier back to Iran. The group reportedly offered money to the soldier’s wife to help them kidnap him and threatened to harm family members in Iran if she refused.
One of the alleged agents, identified by his initials S.S., was caught as he tried to enter the soldier’s home, Anadolu reported. The six other members of the alleged ring are Turkish citizens, according to the agency.
Anadolu identified the soldier by his initials M.A. 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.