Arms smuggler held

From the BBC

BBC News - 'Iranian arms smuggler' captured by Nato in Afghanistan

A member of the elite al-Quds force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard has been captured in southern Afghanistan accused of arms smuggling, Nato says.

He was detained last Saturday in southern Kandahar province, the current focus of Nato offensives.

The man was a "key Taliban weapons facilitator" involved in smuggling weapons from Iran to Afghanistan, said a Nato statement.

It is not the first time Iran has been accused of backing Afghan insurgents.

A senior Afghan security official in Kandahar told the BBC: "Iranian intelligence officers are helping the Taliban and drug dealers in the south. We deal with it every day. This is a known fact now.

"It was the international forces who arrested him. They had been listening to him for some time and monitoring his electronic communications."

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary, in Kabul, says the Iranians are widely suspected of having supplied the Taliban in south and south-western Afghanistan with roadside bombs and other weapons.

Afghan intelligence officials privately suspect Iranian intelligence of meddling, our correspondent says, but are sensitive about making the accusation publicly.

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