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Afghans catch arms smuggler from Iran

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- NATO forces in Afghanistan say they have caught a man smuggling weapons to the Taliban from Iran.

The man, a "key Taliban weapons facilitator," was captured Saturday in the Zheri district of Kandahar province, the International Security Assistance Force said.

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An 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 Iranians are suspected of supplying the Taliban with weapons in southern Afghanistan, but the Kabul government is reluctant to make public accusations, the BBC reports.

A source from Afghan intelligence said border guards were jailed in Iran last week after crossing the frontier, apparently in error. The Afghans handed over Iranian spies to get them released.

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