Jordan drivers held in Iraq freed

Iraqi authorities have released four Jordanian drivers detained in Baghdad for 17 days on suspicion of being fighters opposed to the presence of foreign troops in Iraq, one of the released Jordanians said.

    The truck drivers were accused of being fighters

    Mohammed Yassin Freiwan, 25, said he and three other drivers had worked for an Iraqi car dealer for two years and never had problems until they were arrested on 25 April when they were looking for a hotel.

    "For 17 days, we were questioned continuously by the Iraqi police whether we had anything to do with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the insurgency," Freiwan said in Baghdad.

    An Iraqi official and Jordanian lawmaker Nariman al-Rossan confirmed the detention of the four drivers, who are all from the northern city of Irbid, 90 kilometers north of Amman.

    Ransom demand

    Freiwan said Iraqi police did not treat them poorly. He said they justified the detention by saying that many Jordanians who enter Iraq join the fighters and plan bomb attacks.

    Freiwan, Mahmud Bassam Freiwan, Mustafa Jaradat and Muhammad Jede'i, all in their 20s, are expected to return to Jordan on Saturday or Sunday.

    Al-Rossan, the lawmaker, said on Thursday that the guards in the Iraqi police station had asked for a ransom to release the four men.

    "I urged the families not to pay any money and leave the matter for the Iraqi authorities to deal with," she said. Freiwan confirmed that police had asked US$2,000 but that they were released without paying.

    The detention of the men follows a similar case earlier this year. In February, American forces in Iraq released five Jordanian truck drivers who were arrested in December on suspicion of involvement in an attack in Baghdad.

    Since the US-led war on Iraq, several Jordanian truck drivers have been looted or held hostage by highway bandits in Iraq, including at least three killed in January.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Zimbabwe military's statement after seizing power

    Zimbabwe military's statement after seizing power

    Major General SB Moyo addresses the nation after Zimbabwe's military seizes state TV, blocks off government offices.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Can Aamir Khan create lasting change in Indian society or is he just another Bollywood star playing the role of a hero?