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UPDATED: 09:03, May 05, 2007
U.S. forces capture 16 smugglers of Iran-made weapons
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U.S. forces raided a Shiite bastion in eastern Baghdad on Friday morning and captured 16 Iraqis suspected of smuggling sophisticated roadside bombs from Iran, the U.S. military said in a statement.

"The individuals targeted during the raid are suspected members of a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrates, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training," the military said in a statement.

Based on intelligence reports, the military said the individuals have "ties to a kidnapping network that conducts attacks within Iraq as well as interactions with rogue elements throughout Iraq and into Iran."

Previously, the U.S. military had accused Iran of providing Iraqi Shiite militia with weapons and parts for sophisticated armored-piercing bombs. But Iran denied the accusations.

According to the U.S. military, the EFPs are responsible for the deaths of more than 170 U.S. and coalition soldiers since mid- 2004.

Source: Xinhua

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