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Afghan Official Says Taliban Gets Support From Inside Iran

U.S. soldiers search through a weapons and ammunition cache found at a hotel in eastern Afghanistan in July.
KABUL -- An official in Afghanistan's western Nimroz Province claims that elements in Iran are providing financial support and weapons to the Taliban, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Asadullah Haqdost, the provincial administrator in the Delaram district, told Radio Free Afghanistan that security officials have gathered "reliable" evidence showing that support from inside Iran is going to Taliban militants in parts of western Afghanistan.

"There is a training camp there [in Iran] at which some fighters were trained, equipped, and sent to Afghanistan to launch attacks on Afghan people and especially on foreign troops," he said.

Haqdost said that in the last few months Afghan security officials have arrested seven Iranians for crimes related to terrorist attacks in western Afghanistan.

Iranian officials have rejected any government involvement in the unrest in Afghanistan.

Afghan central government officials have countered allegations in the past of Iranian involvement in supplying insurgents in Afghanistan by stressing positive relations with Tehran.

U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Asia Richard Holbrooke in August cited "conflicting reports" on possible Iranian involvement in arms supplies to insurgents in Afghanistan. A Holbrooke aide, Vikram Singh, said that while "certainly the Iranians have in the past provided some arms to some groups inside Afghanistan" but added that it was not regarded "from a defense perspective as a substantial effort or a substantial threat."