'Iran arms smuggler' captured by Nato in Afghanistan

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KABUL. December 24. KAZINFORM A man suspected of helping to smuggle arms from Iran across the border for the Taliban in Afghanistan has been detained, Nato officials say; Kazinform refers to BBC News.

A statement described him as a "key Taliban weapons facilitator".

The man was caught last Saturday in southern Kandahar province - the current focus of Nato offensives.

However, Nato has clarified that he is not a member of the elite al-Quds force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards as suggested by its initial reports.

Preliminary intelligence reports led the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) to believe he was a member of the force, but after gathering more information, it was determined that while the individual may be affiliated with several insurgent-related organisations, he is not a member of the al-Quds group."

The man was held in the Zheri district of Kandahar, a province known as the birthplace of the Taliban movement.

He "was considered a Kandahar-based weapons facilitator with direct ties to other Taliban leaders in the province," the Isaf statement added.

A senior Afghan security official in Kandahar said coalition forces had been monitoring the man for some time; Kazinform cites BBC News.

See www.bbc.co.uk for full version.

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