-Hot off the Wire- Spin Exposed
ran Says Bodies Found in Basra Are Its Troops
4 minutes ago
Add Top Stories -
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said the remains of as many as 200 people found near Basra were Iranian soldiers killed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and demanded their immediate repatriation, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
Iraq has said the bodies, discovered on Saturday by British soldiers in a military complex near Basra, were those of Iraqis killed in the 1980s conflict and recently returned by Tehran.
But the head of Iran's Committee for Searching for the Missing in Action said the corpses had been unearthed in recent months by joint Iran-Iraq search teams.
"Unfortunately, because of Iraq's negligence, these corpses were not returned to Iran," Brig. Gen. Mirfeysal Baqerzadeh was quoted as saying by the Jomhuri-ye Eslami newspaper.
Although the Iran-Iraq war, in which hundreds of thousands were killed on both sides, ended 15 years ago, the two countries still exchange bodies and prisoners of war. The latest prisoner swap ended on March 19 -- a day before the start of the current war.