Iran shuts border with Iraqi Kurds
( CNN ) -- Iran has closed its five entry points with Iraq's Kurdish region in protest against the U.S. military's recent incarceration of an Iranian, an Iraqi Kurdish official said Monday.
One Iraqi official said the move will hurt the economy of the autonomous region, where there is heavy traffic over the Iraq-Iran border.
Jamal Abdullah, the official spokesman of Iraq's Kurdistan regional government, said Iran made good on its threat to close the border because the Iranian, Mahmoody Farhadi, had not been released. One of the entry points is in Irbil, two are in Sulaimaniya and two others are in Khanaqin.
American troops arrested the man Thursday in Sulaimaniya, said the U.S. military, which called him a member of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' Quds Force. The agency has been accused of training and equipping insurgents in Iraq.
The detainee -- one of several Iranians in U.S. custody in Iraq -- "has been involved in transporting improvised explosive devices and explosively formed penetrators into Iraq. Intelligence reports also indicate he was involved in the infiltration and training of foreign terrorists in Iraq."
But Iraqi President Jalal Talabani -- who blasted the United States for the arrest -- said the Iranian official is a civil servant who was on an official trade mission in the Kurdistan region.
The closures would cause "severe damage to markets and trade in the province on this blessed month," Talabani said, referring to Ramadan. He called for the Iranian's release.
The other border points between Iraq and Iran remain open.
Arrests, deaths in al Qaeda in Iraq sting
Three insurgents were killed Monday and 21 others were detained during a series of operations targeting al Qaeda in Iraq, the U.S. military said.
Three "armed terrorists" were killed east of Tikrit in northern Iraq when they did not comply with an order to drop their weapons, the military said. One of the men drew his weapon, according to the military.
Troops found caches of ammunition and military-style uniforms during the operations, which targeted insurgents in Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast of Mosul and west of Tarmiya.