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Iran claims 'military exercises' behind Karaj explosions, gunfire

Iranian state media said there was a military training exercise in the area, near the city of Karaj. The news follows an Iranian attack on an Israeli-linked ship and a suspected Israeli attack on an Iranian factory.

Reports of a number of explosions in the city of Karaj in Iran surfaced on Thursday night local time, as tension escalates between Tehran and Israel. 

The BBC’s Persian-language service reported at 11:46 p.m. Tehran time that people in the central Iranian city west of the capital reported hearing gunshots and explosions. It carried a video that appeared to show anti-aircraft fire in the skies of Karaj.



Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) later tweeted that the military conducted exercises in the area, adding that air defenses were activated. 

Iranians also posted the video on social media. Sabereen News, a Telegram channel affiliated with pro-Iran militias in Iraq, also reported the incident. 

The reports from Karaj come as a shadow proxy war grows between Israel and Iran. The Pentagon confirmed last week an Iranian drone attack on a tanker in the Arabian Sea on Feb. 10. The ship is linked to Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. 

On Jan. 28, an Iranian military plant in the central city of Isfahan was hit by a suspected Israeli drone attack. The Israeli military rarely comments on its operations abroad. 

The cycle of attacks has increased since the breakdown of the nuclear talks between Iran and the West last year. On Thursday, Israel's Channel 12 reported that the country will prepare for possible action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The report said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held five meetings with his defense and intelligence chiefs, as well as the head of Mossad, to discuss possible strikes against Iran. 

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