Turkey has detained several people allegedly working for an Iranian intelligence cell that planned to assassinate or snatch Israeli tourists in Istanbul, local media reported Thursday.

The news of the bust came weeks after Israel ordered its citizens in Istanbul to leave immediately, warning of an imminent Iranian attack plot targeting Israelis in Turkey.

Among those who were being targeted for kidnapping were a former Israeli diplomat and his wife, Hebrew media reported, citing Turkish outlets. The diplomat’s name was not published.

Israel’s Mossad spy agency chartered a private plane to immediately bring the pair and others back to the country, reports said.

The suspects, who were not all Iranian nationals, were detained in a raid last week in three houses in Istanbul’s popular Beyoglu district, the IHA news agency reported. The outlet said eight people had been arrested.

Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported on Thursday that Turkish authorities detained five Iranian nationals on Wednesday suspected of involvement in the alleged plot to assassinate Israeli citizens in Istanbul.

Read more at Times of Israel

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