U.S. defense officials say that in Iraq, some one hundred and seventy coalition troops have been killed and over six hundred wounded by lethal explosive devices that were made in Iran. The officials say the devices were provided to Iraqi terrorists with the knowledge of the Iranian government. They also say that attacks using the devices have nearly doubled in the past six months.
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At a briefing for reporters in Baghdad, U.S. defense officials displayed one of the devices, known as explosively formed penetrators, or E-F-Ps. Along with mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades that were also displayed, the E-F-P had distinct markings that linked it to Iranian munitions factories.
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says "the Iranians are up to their eyeballs" in involvement in networks that are posing a deadly threat to coalition forces:
"I don't think your hearing much skepticism at all from any quarter except [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad that the Iranians are involved in these networks. The Iraqis say that they are involved in these networks, the Brits say that they are involved in these networks . . . .There's not a lot of debate about that."
What U.S. defense officials are saying, said State Department spokesman McCormick, "'Here is some of the evidence that has led us to these conclusions.'"
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