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Three Iranian Shi'ite Pilgrims Freed In Iraq

(RFE/RL) 12 February 2006 -- Three Iranians who were among a group of Shi'ite pilgrims kidnapped north of Baghdad were freed late on 11 February.

Salahuddin Governor Hamid Hammud Shightay said the three women were found after they were set free outside a remote village, Ain al-Faras.

He said the whereabouts of their seven male Iranian companions remains unknown.

The governor said the group was traveling in a minibus between Balad and Samarra to visit Shi'ite holy shrines when they were abducted by gunmen on 9 February.

He added that the attackers killed the bus driver and one of the Iranian pilgrims.

Thousands of Iranians traveled to Iraq to attend this week's religious festival of Ashura, which marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

(Reuters, AP)

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