- The Washington Times - Friday, August 5, 2005

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

Iran is shipping more powerful and sophisticated military-caliber bombs to Iraqi guerrillas for use against U.S.-led coalition forces, NBC News reported yesterday.

Citing U.S. military and intelligence officials, the network said U.S. soldiers intercepted a large shipment of high explosives last week, smuggled into northeastern Iraq from Iran.

“The officials say the shipment contained dozens of ‘shaped charges’ manufactured recently. Shaped charges are especially lethal because they’re designed to concentrate and direct a more powerful blast into a small area,” NBC reported.

“They’ll go right through a very heavily armored vehicle like an M1-A1 tank from one side right out the other side,” retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey told the network.

Military officials said insurgents in Iraq began using shaped charges to kill U.S. forces three months ago. Recent weeks have brought a spate of deadlier roadside-bomb attacks on U.S. forces.

In one attack earlier this week, 14 U.S. Marines were killed inside a 28-ton armored vehicle that would be immune from most improvised explosive devices, but vulnerable to shaped charges, which were developed by militaries worldwide specifically to pierce armor.

Intelligence officials believe the explosives were shipped into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard or the terrorist group Hezbollah, most likely with the consent of the Iranian government, NBC reported.

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