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lesson learned: don’t hike Iran/Iraq border

Posted Aug 01 2009 11:03pm

Three US nationals who crossed into Iran via Iraq have been arrested, the state-owned Al-Alam television has reported.

“An informed Iranian source confirmed the arrest of three Americans after they infiltrated through the Iraqi border,” the Arabic-language television station said on Saturday.

The two men and a woman entered Iranian territory a day earlier from Iraqi Kurdistan despite repeated warnings not to do so, a Kurdish official said.

A fourth American originally with the hiking party had not joined the trek due to illness, said Beshro Ahmed, a media adviser for the general security department in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

He named the three as Shane Bower, Sara Short and Joshua Steel, while Shaun Gabriel Maxwell stayed behind in their hotel in the autonomous Kurdish region’s second-largest city of Sulaimaniyah.

A spokeswoman for the US embassy in Baghdad said: “We’ve seen the reports and are looking into it but can’t confirm anything at this time.” …

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… The arrests came after the three visited the mountainous resort region of Ahmed Awa, about 90km northeast of Sulaimaniyah.

Ahmed said: “The [Kurdish] tourist police in the area asked them not to climb the mountains because the Iranian border was very close. …

al jazeera

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