- BEIRUT -- Insurgents in Iraq
are employing armour-piercing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) similar
to those used by the Hizbullah organisation in Lebanon. The IEDs are claiming
a growing number of casualties among coalition forces.
- The UK government has accused Iran of supplying allied
Iraqi groups with the advanced IEDs, which appear to be a new generation
of the version first adopted by Hizbullah guerrillas fighting Israel Defence
Force (IDF) troops in south Lebanon in the late 1990s.
- The emergence of shaped-charge armour-piercing bombs
in Iraq is an alarming development for the US-led coalition, which is struggling
to devise effective countermeasures to defeat the rapidly evolving IEDs.
At least six UK personnel have been killed in recent months in IED attacks
carrying the hallmarks of shaped-charge explosives. The bombs first appeared
in southern Iraq in the hands of Shia Muslim militants but have since spread
to Sunni insurgent groups further north.
- No effective countermeasure has been devised to protect
troops from these devices, according to a British Army officer experienced
in manufacturing and neutralising the IEDs. The technology to construct
such weapons has been around for many years and did not necessarily have
to come from Iran or Hizbullah, the officer told JDW.