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Iran's Guards attack 'espionage centers' in Iraq's Erbil

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they attacked espionage centers and "gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups" near Iraq's northern city of Erbil with ballistic missiles, Iranian state media said late on Monday.

Main square in front of the citadel, Erbil, Kurdistan © Mena Today 

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they attacked espionage centers and "gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups" near Iraq's northern city of Erbil with ballistic missiles, Iranian state media said late on Monday.

Explosions were heard in an area some 40 kilometers northeast of Erbil in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, three security sources said, in an area near the U.S. consulate as well as civilian residences.

Two dead and five wounded civilians had been brought to a local hospital after the explosions, two medical sources said.

Air traffic at Erbil airport was halted, the security sources said.

"Ballistic missiles were used to destroy espionage centers and gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups in the region late tonight,” Iran’s Guards said in a statement.

Iran has in the past sometimes carried out strikes in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region, saying the area is used as a staging ground for Iranian separatist groups as well as agents of its arch-foe Israel.

Baghdad has tried to address Iranian concerns over separatist groups in the mountainous border region, moving to relocate some members as part of a security agreement reached with Tehran in 2023.

Reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai and Timour Azhari in Baghdad

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