US military says Iran training Iraqi bomb makers

Iran has been training Iraqi fighters in Iran on the assembly of deadly roadside bombs known as EFPs, the US military spokesman said on Wednesday. "We know that they are being in fact manufactured and smuggled into this country, and we know that training does go on in Iran for people to learn how to assemble them and how to employ them. We know that training has gone on as recently as this past month from detainees debriefs," Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the US military spokesman, said at a weekly briefing. EFP stands for explosively formed penetrator, deadly roadside bombs that hurl a fist-size lump of molten copper capable of piercing armor. In January, US officials said at least 170 US soldiers had been killed by EFPs. Caldwell also said on Wednesday that the US military had evidence that Iranian intelligence agents were active in Iraq in funding, training and arming Shiite militia fighters. "We also know that training still is being conducted in Iran for insurgent elements from Iraq. We know that as recent as last week from debriefing personnel," he said. The general would not say specifically which arm of the Iranian government was doing the training but called the trainers "surrogates" of Iran's intelligence agency. Caldwell opened the briefing by showing photographs of what he said were Iranian-made mortar rounds, RPG rounds and rockets that were found in Iraq.