Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

'Taliban helper' held in joint raid

Troops in Afghainstan have captured a suspected weapons smuggler

Afghan and Nato forces have captured a man accused of smuggling equipment from Iran to senior Taliban leaders in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

He was seized along with a suspected insurgent in a night raid in the British area of operations in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand .

It is believed that special forces carried out the mission. The Ministry of Defence would not confirm whether any UK troops were involved.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement: "A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator and one suspected insurgent during a night-time security operation in Nahr-e Saraj district yesterday.

"The facilitator was a key transfer agent, smuggling materials and resources from Iran for senior Taliban leaders in Helmand.

"He and an associate were captured by the Afghan-led force after they commenced a search on his compound."

Iran has been accused of supporting the insurgency in Afghanistan with weapons, funds and training.

In February British special forces and Afghan troops seized a shipment of Iranian arms intended for the Taliban, including rockets with a range of up to 13 miles.

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