Belarus says it's discovered weapons for 'terrorist' attacks

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday that his country's security forces have discovered an arsenal of weapons intended for “terrorist” attacks, two days after they killed a terrorism suspect near the Polish border.

The reported discovery followed Belarus' killing on Sunday in the city of Grodno, just east of the Polish border, of a foreigner who allegedly was planning a terrorist attack.

The Belarusian KGB security agency said the alleged terrorist was killed in a shootout. Belarusian television reported Tuesday that a forged passport in the name of a Russian citizen was found on the body.

“The special services have worked brilliantly,” Lukashenko said Tuesday in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. “A whole arsenal of weapons and explosives was confiscated, intended for high-profile terrorist attacks against citizens and government officials.”

Belarusian authorities have conducted raids and arrests since a Feb. 26 drone attack on a Russian A-50 military plane at an airfield near Minsk. According to the Belarusian human rights group Viasna, more than 100 people have been detained. Belarus hosts Russian soldiers and equipment, and some of them have been deployed in the war in neighboring Ukraine.

The head of the opposition movement ByPol, Aliaksandr Azarau, who claimed responsibility for the attack on the Russian plane, told The Associated Press he had nothing to do with the events in Grodno. He claimed Belarusian authorities might have staged the incidents in Grodno to discredit the opposition and create the appearance of a threat from NATO and Poland.

“Lukashenko is playing tricks on the situation in order to intensify repression inside the country and show the Kremlin that he is fighting both the domestic opposition and Western intelligence services,” Azarau said.