Reuters: Attacks using Iranian-made roadside bombs in a key part of Baghdad rose in January to the highest level in a year, the U.S. military said on Sunday. BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Attacks using Iranian-made roadside bombs in a key part of Baghdad rose in January to the highest level in a year, the U.S. military said on Sunday.
Washington has accused Tehran of supplying Shi’ite militias in Iraq with sophisticated weapons, including armor-piercing roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), to attack U.S. troops. Tehran denies the allegation.
The military said there were 12 EFP attacks against U.S. forces last month in an area encompassing northern and eastern parts of Baghdad, including the slum of Sadr City, stronghold of the Mehdi Army militia of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
In a statement, the military said this was the highest monthly total in a year in the area, which falls under the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The military did not give details of casualties caused by the attacks.
A military spokesman said militias were targeting U.S. troops and members of neighborhood security units.
The U.S. military has said there was an upswing in the number of EFP attacks reported in the first two weeks of January in Iraq, before returning to normal levels.
Tension has been high between Iran and the United States after Washington said its warships were threatened by Iranian craft in the Strait of Hormuz last month. The two are also at odds over Iran’s determination to pursue a nuclear program.
The United States also accuses Iran of training Iraqi militiamen. Many of those being trained in Iran are considered renegade members of Sadr’s Mehdi Army.
Sadr has ordered a six-month ceasefire that expires in late February so that he could reorganize his splintered militia.
(Writing by Dean Yates; Editing by Andrew Dobbie)