News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIranian arms seized in Iraq, officials say

Iranian arms seized in Iraq, officials say

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ImageNew York Times: Iraqi and American troops seized a rocket launcher loaded with about a dozen Iranian-made rockets aimed at an American base in the southern city of Basra, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

The New York Times

By SAM DAGHER

ImageBAGHDAD — Iraqi and American troops seized a rocket launcher loaded with about a dozen Iranian-made rockets aimed at an American base in the southern city of Basra, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

The United States military said in a statement that Iraqi and American forces conducted a search operation on Basra’s outskirts after hearing explosions near the base Monday night. The American statement said that Iraqi security forces confiscated 16 rockets and arrested three in connection with the operation without giving further details.

No casualties were reported.

A spokesman for the Basra police force, which took part in the operation, said that a rocket launcher loaded with 13 Grad rockets, positioned on the back of a pickup truck, was found in the Shatt al Arab district northeast of Basra. There was no explanation for the discrepancy in the number of rockets.

“They came from a neighboring country,” said the spokesman, Lt. Col. Rafie al-Jawad, but he refused to specify which one.

An Iraqi Army officer in Basra, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the information to the news media, said the rockets came from Iran.

Three American soldiers were killed in a rocket attack on their base in Basra last month. In April, American troops took responsibility for southern Iraq, including Basra, from departing British forces.

Separately, at least 2 Iraqis were killed and 15 were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in a market Tuesday in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Abu Dshir in southern Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said.

In Mosul, four Iraqi police officers and an Iraqi soldier were killed in a series of shootings and bomb attacks on Tuesday, according to a police official.

Riyadh Mohammed contributed reporting from Baghdad, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Basra and Mosul.

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