U.S. troops in security alert in Iraq over Iranian threats: top commander

13:07, July 14, 2010      

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The U.S. troops in Iraq heightened security in their bases in Iraq after a threat that an Iranian- backed militant group has plans to carry out attacks against the U. S. forces, top U.S. military commander in Iraq said Tuesday.

General Ray Odierno said that there has been some intelligence about an Iranian-backed Shiite militant group, named "Kataib Hezbollah" which is trying to attack U.S. bases, prompting the U.S. troops to increase security measures.

"In the last couple weeks there has been an increased threat, and we've increased our security on some of our bases," Odierno said in a briefing to reporters.

The U.S. commander also said that the overall attacks against his military convoys in Iraq has been "fairly low", but he described the latest threat by Iranian-backed groups as "a very consistent threat."

He said that the Kataib Hezbollah group is planning to use rocket-propelled explosive device called Rocket-Assisted Munitions, or IRAMs.

The IRAM is made from a large metal canister such as a propane gas cylinder that has been drained of its contents and filled with explosives, scrap metal, and ball bearings.

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