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Iran May Have Trained Group That Killed 5 US Soldiers January 31, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Investigators say they believe that attackers who used U.S.-style uniforms and weapons to infiltrate a secure compound and kill five U.S. soldiers in Karbala on Jan. 20 may have been trained and financed by Iranian agents, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials knowledgeable about the inquiry, The New York Times reported in its Wednesday editions.

The officials said the sophistication of the attack astonished investigators, who doubt that Iraqis could have carried it out on their own – one reason a connection to Iran is being closely examined. Officials cautioned that no firm conclusions had been drawn and did not reveal any direct evidence of a connection.

The paper added that a senior Iraqi official said the attackers had carried forged U.S. identity cards and American-style M-4 rifles and had thrown stun grenades of a kind used only by U.S. forces in Iraq.

One U.S. soldier was killed during the initial attack and four more were abducted and killed shortly afterward. The attack was focused on a meeting at a joint security station, where U.S. and Iraqi forces mesh their efforts in the new security plan.

The Times reports that two U.S. officials in Washington, D.C., confirmed that U.S. military investigators were looking into the possibility of Iranian involvement in the Karbala attack. One of those officials said the working assumption by the investigators was that the operation had been carried out by a splinter group of the Mahdi Army.

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