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Iran TV confirms three Americans detained on Iran-Iraq border

IRAN'S state-owned al-Alam TV yesterday confirmed that three US nationals have been detained by Iranian forces near the border with Iraq.

The Arabic-language satellite channel quoted "an informed source" in Iran's Interior Ministry as saying that the three Americans were detained after they infiltrated through the border.

An Iraqi Kurdish security official said earlier yesterday in a statement that the three Americans were "tourists who visited Ahmed Awa area at the town of Halabja in the (Iraqi) province of Sulaimaniyah."

They were arrested by Iranian forces "after they crossed the border with Kurdistan region to Iran due to their little knowledge about the area," the statement said.

"The Americans are, Shaun Gabriel Maxwell, Shane Bower and SaraShort. Another American called Joshua Steel was with them, but he remained in Ahmed Awa resort," it added.

The Kurdish official also said the four American tourists entered the Iraqi autonomous region on July 28 and that the incident took place on Thursday when three of the group went to Ahmed Awa resort, some 150 km east of Sulaimaniyah, near the Iranian border.

On Friday, an official in the US embassy in Baghdad said they were investigating reports about the incident.


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