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Britain: Marines Forcibly Led Into Iranian Waters

30 June 2004 -- The British government says that the eight British servicemen seized by Iranian troops last week were "forcibly escorted into Iranian territorial waters" before they were detained.

The eight were caught in what the Iranians claimed was Iranian territorial waters.

Tehran said the sailors had strayed into the Iranian side of the Shatt Al-Arab waterway. It held the men for three days, prompting a diplomatic standoff.

But British Defense Minister Geoff Hoon told the House of Commons today that the men reported they had not made a navigational mistake and had been detained in Iraqi waters.

He also called on Tehran to return the three river-patrol boats and equipment it seized when it took the men into custody.