Thursday, September 13, 2007


U.S. general - Iranian supplied rocket used in attack on military base

(AFP) -- A US general in Iraq on Thursday pointed the finger of blame at Shiite militiamen using what he said was an Iranian-supplied rocket for a fatal attack two days ago on a military base near Baghdad. Major General Kevin Bergner said the rocket was launched from the Rasheed area of west Baghdad which he said was a stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The military said one person was killed and 12 injured in an "indirect fire" attack on Tuesday on Camp Victory, a sprawling military base near Baghdad international airport. Bergner, spokesman for US forces in Iraq, told a press conference the rocket was similar to those supplied in the past by "Iranian sources" to Mahdi Army fighters.
He acknowledged however that there was no direct evidence to prove that Mahdi Army fighters were behind Tuesday's attack nor that the weapon had definitely been supplied by Iranian forces. "It was consistent with rockets supplied in the past by Iranian sources to Jaysh al-Mahdi," he said, using the US military's term for the Mahdi Army.
Sadr has called on his militia to halt armed activities for six months, but attacks are continuing. "We do see some elements obeying Sadr's pledge," said Bergner. "But we also see some members who are disobeying his pledge."

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