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THE Belarus today detained one “terrorist” and more than 20 of his accomplices who were working for Ukrainian and US Intelligence to attempt sabotage in Belarusian airportthe Belarusian president reportedly said Alexander Lukashenko.

Belarusian anti-government activists announced last month that they had blown up an advanced Russian military surveillance plane in a drone attack on an airport near the Belarusian capital Minsk – a claim disputed by Moscow and Minsk.

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“The Security Service of Ukraine, the leadership of the CIA, behind closed doors, are conducting an operation against the Republic of Belarus. A terrorist was trained,” Lukashenko said, according to the Belta news agency.

Lukashenko said the aircraft suffered only superficial damage in the attack, which was carried out using a “small drone”, Belta reported.

The suspect, who was detained for the attack on the Beriev A-50 surveillance plane, has dual Russian and Ukrainian citizenship, Lukashenko also said, according to Belta. More than 20 people involved in the incident have been arrested so far, while other suspects are still hiding abroad, he added.

Lukashenko said he had ordered a “sweeping” nationwide operation to arrest other saboteurs involved in attacks inside the country.

The Belarusian president, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and allowed the latter to use Belarus as a springboard for invading Ukraine last February, reiterated his position that Belarus would not be “dragged” into the conflict.

“If you think that with this provocation tomorrow you will drag us into a war, which is already raging today in Europe, you are wrong,” Lukashenko said, according to Belta, in comments he addressed to Kiev and Washington.

He had previously stated that Belarus would enter the war directly only if its territory was attacked by Ukraine.