Thursday, May 31, 2007

Iran says dead rebels had U.S.-made arms

TEHRAN, May 31 (Reuters) - Rebels killed in clashes with Iranian forces this week had recently infiltrated border areas of the Islamic Republic carrying U.S.-made arms, an Iranian commander was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Ten rebels and seven Iranian border guards were killed in clashes in a northwestern area close to Turkey, according to Iranian media reports on Wednesday and Thursday.

"The weapons ... included M16 weapons which are being provided through channels linked to forces present in the region," General Rastegar-Panah, identified only with his last name, told state radio.

The report referred to "American-made weaponry and arms".

Tehran often accuses its old foe the United States, which invaded Iraq in 2003, of trying to undermine Iran's security by backing insurgents operating in sensitive border regions.....

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