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Iran 'Warns' U.S. After Troops Enter Iraqi Holy Cities

U.S. troops found weapons cache in mosque (file photo) 23 May 2004 -- Iran, a country run by Shi'ite Muslims, has issued a "formal warning" to the United States over its policy in Iraq as U.S. tanks and troops increased their presence in the Shi'ite holy cities of Kufa, Al-Najaf, and Karbala overnight.

French news agency AFP said Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Assefi, told reporters at a news conference today that the warning was issued because of the seriousness of developments in Iraq.

CNN reported that U.S. troops killed 16 suspected insurgents and seized a cache of weapons in a mosque in Kufa, which is near the holy city of Al-Najaf, where fighting and some casualties were also reported.

Witnesses said U.S. forces also briefly raided Karbala, some 80 kilometers north of Al-Najaf.