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Iran/Iraq: Former Foes Exchange Soldiers' Remains

Baghdad, 28 December 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Iraq and Iran have carried out a new exchange of remains of soldiers killed in their bitter 1980-88 war. The state Iraqi News Agency reported today that the exchanges took place yesterday at the Iraqi border town of al-Shilamcha.

The report gave no numbers, but a source at the International Committee of the Red Cross said the two sides swapped the bodies of 74 Iraqis and 77 Iranians.

An estimated 1 million people were killed in the war, with thousands of combatants listed as missing in action and prisoners of war.

Repatriation of remains and survivors remains a major issue of contention between the two nations.

The last exchange came on 14 November, when the two sides traded the bodies of 18 Iraqis and 78 Iranians, Reuters reported.