Iraq Frees Arrested Egyptian But Keeps Kuwaiti Prisoner
Iraq announced Wednesday that it had freed an Egyptian national but was still holding a Kuwaiti, both of whom had been taken prisoner over the weekend when a diplomatic mission strayed onto the wrong side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between Kuwait and Iraq.
"The Egyptian Abdul Aziz Ahmed was freed and handed over to the Egyptian ambassador in Baghdad," the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement, according to AFP.
"The Kuwaiti Jassem al-Randi will not be freed unless Kuwait frees and returns all the Iraqi citizens detained for entering by error" into Kuwait, the ministry added.
An Iraqi spokesman could not provide a number for Iraqis detained in Kuwait for illegal entries, but demanded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) go to Kuwait to see them.
The two men were arrested Friday by Iraqi border police while traveling in the DMZ with a visiting Venezuelan delegation, the News Agency said.
Ahmed was driving the delegation while Randi is a Kuwait municipal employee. After driving too far, the entire delegation was stopped by the police and questioned.
The Venezuelan members were also briefly detained in the incident, for which UNIKOM has claimed responsibility. An official from the ICRC said on Wednesday he hoped for a speedy settlement of the matter of a Kuwaiti held in Baghdad after straying into the wrong side of the DMZ. (Albawaba.com)