US army releases Iranian diplomats detained in Iraq

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TEHRAN, Nov 9 (Reuters) US forces released today two Iranian diplomats who were detained in January in Iraq on suspicion of providing support to Shi'ite militias in the neighbouring country, Iranian state television reported.

''The two were handed over to Iranian officials in Baghdad and will return home this afternoon,'' state television quoted an Iranian embassy official in Baghdad as saying.

US spokesperson Rear Admiral Greg Smith said on Tuesday that nine Iranians being held in Iraq would be released soon. He said they included two who were among five Iranians detained by US forces in northern Iraq.

REUTERS RJ BD1343

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