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Albania expels two Iranian diplomats over terror plot charges

Albania has expelled two Iranian diplomats over their involvement in the preparation of an attempted terror attack against the Israeli football team back in 2016, local media reported.

The Albanian Foreign Ministry has said that the diplomats had been suspected of carrying out actions undermining Albania’s security. The ministry added that the decision to expel the Iranian diplomats had been made in consultations with Tirana's allies. Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that Albania had expelled the Iranian ambassador from the country.

The Albanian Top Channel news outlet reported, citing sources, that the Iranians were complicit in preparation of a terrorist act against the Israeli football team in the city of Shkoder where Israeli and Albanian athletes were supposed to meet for a qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After the attack had been foiled, the authorities detained around 20 people in Albania and Kosovo.

In May, a Kosovo court sentenced nine Albanians to a total of 35.5 years in jail in the case. The authorities said that the group had decided to plant an explosive device under a bridge where the Israeli team and supporters should have gone.

Media have then reported that the group had been linked to the ISIS terror organization.