The American military said on Monday that they found a large weapon cache, which provides further evidences that Shiite militias have allegedly used Iranian- made weapons.
In a raid based on a tip from a local resident, the American soldiers discovered a workshop with enough components to build 150 "explosively formed penetrators" (EFPs) on Saturday in the Shiite village of Judaidah, 25 km north of Baghdad, U.S. army Major Jeremy Siegrist told reporters.
EFP is a special type of shaped charge that is designed to penetrate armor effectively at long range.
The U.S. military officers, who displayed the seized weapons for the reporters, were cautious when they said there was no way to know if the Iranian government was involved in supplying the weapons.
"I don't think there is any way for us to know if it is tied to any government," Siegrist said at Camp Victory outside Baghdad.
He also did not link the weapons to any particular militant group in Iraq, but said they were found near a village which is a stronghold for gunmen of the Mehdi Army militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric of Muqtada al-Sadr.
On Feb. 13, top U.S. military spokesman Major General William Caldwell said that EFPs have been manufactured in Iran and at least 170 American soldiers have been killed by them since May 2004.
A U.S. military statement said that the cache also included mortar bombs and rockets and large quantities of material used for manufacturing roadside bombs.