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Germany has banned Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hizballah’s activities on its soil and designated it a terrorist organization, the Interior Ministry said on April 30.

German police conducted early morning raids in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen, and the capital, Berlin, to detain suspected members of the group.

“Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has banned the Shi’ite terrorist organization Hizballah in Germany,” a ministry spokesman tweeted.

Germany had previously distinguished between Hizballah’s political arm and its military units, which have fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s army in Syria.

The group is also a significant backer of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government which took office in January.

As many as 1,050 people in Germany are part of Hizballah’s extremist wing, security officials estimate.

Hizballah has already been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, which along with Israel had been pushing Berlin to follow suit.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AFP