Iraq detains 45 illegal visitors from IranAssociated Press
Baghdad, December 19
Iraqi police detained 45 people claiming to be Iranian, Afghani and Bangladeshi after illegally crossing from neighbouring Iran, while American troops said on Sunday they captured eight Iraqis fleeing the scene of a roadside bomb blast.
The 45 detainees were captured at Mandali, on the Iranian border 97 kilometres east of Baghdad, on Saturday, Iraqi Police said.
The detainees, all men ranging in age from early 20s to 60s, claimed to be Muslim pilgrims and entered Iraq from Iran without any identity documents.
US soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division detained eight males fleeing the scene of a roadside bomb explosion near Beiji, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, late on Saturday.
Military spokesman Master Sergeant Robert Powell said the soldiers captured the men after witnessing the explosion, but said it was unclear if the patrol was the target of the blast. No US casualties were sustained.
At least two other unexploded homemade bombs were found in the area, the military said.