Iran released Tuesday 460 Iraqi prisoners captured during the 1980-88 war between the neighboring states, Reuters reported, quoting Iranian state television.
The agency quoted head of Iran's POWs commission Abdollah Najafi as saying the Iraqis were repatriated after they were handed over to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at a border post.
The releases coincided with events marking the liberation of the southwestern port city of Khorramshahr in 1982 after 19 months of occupation by Iraqi forces, added Reuters.
Iran had in the past few weeks freed another 2,479 Iraqi POWs.
The fate of thousands of captives is among the thorniest issues hindering Iraq-Iran ties.
Baghdad said last month that Iran was still holding 9,000 of its soldiers, but Najafi said that Iran had documents showing that 3,206 Iranian POWs were being held in Iraq.
However, AFP quoted an Iraqi official as saying that Iraq holds no more Iranian POWs and 400 ex-prisoners have informed the ICRC that they chose to stay in Iraq rather than return to Iran -(Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )