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Friday, April 27, 2007

Iraq: US nabs suspected Iranian weapon smugglers

US troops detained seven suspected members of a cell smuggling sophisticated roadside bombs from Iran during a raid Friday in a Shi'ite militia stronghold in Baghdad, the military said.

The raid was targeting a network of militants helping to bring sophisticated weapons from Iran to Iraq, including so-called explosively formed "penetrators," or EFPs, which are capable of piercing armored vehicles, according to a statement.

The cell also was smuggling militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training and has ties to a kidnapping network that conducts attacks within Iraq, the military said.

"Individuals coming into Iraq from other countries for the purpose of endangering Iraqi civilians and disrupting security won't be tolerated," military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said in the statement.

In January, US officials said at least 170 U.S. soldiers had been killed by EFPs since 2004.

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