Baghdad: Case of Downed Saudi Pilot in Iraq Now Closed
The case of a Saudi pilot downed in Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and whose presumed remains were found in October, is closed, an Iraqi foreign ministry official said Tuesday.
"Tests in Swiss laboratories have proved that the remains belong to Squadron Leader Mohammad Nadera. So the search operation for plane and pilot is over," the official told the weekly Al-Rafidain newspaper.
Beat Schweizer, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Baghdad, refused to comment. "We could maybe comment at the start of next week," he told AFP.
The Iraqi official also refuted allegations by General Attiya Abdul Hamid, head of the Saudi delegation of the joint search party to find the remains, that the pilot "was alive and living in an Iraqi prison".
"Baghdad has already denied that Squadron Leader Nadera was detained in Iraq," the official said.
Baghdad said the remains of the pilot were found in 1997 and that an Iraqi officer had buried the body.
Baghdad and Riyadh have not had diplomatic relations since the Gulf War in which Saudi Arabia joined a US-led coalition in evicting Iraqi occupation forces from Kuwait -- BAGHDAD (AFP)