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Families: American hikers entered Iran by mistake

world Updated: Aug 12, 2009 10:49 IST

AP
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Three American hikers detained in Iran for nearly two weeks entered the country by mistake and their families are hoping for a quick resolution that will reunite them with their children, the families said in a statement on Wednesday.

Joshua Fattal, freelance journalist Shane Bauer and Bauer’s girlfriend, Sarah Shourd, were hiking near a waterfall on a mountain in Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region on July 31 when they accidentally crossed the border into Iran, according to family members.

They contacted a colleague to say they had entered Iran by mistake and were surrounded by troops, according to a Kurdish official in Iraq. Iran’s state television said the Americans were arrested after they did not heed warnings from Iranian border guards.

“Shane, Sarah and Josh are young travelers who share a great love of the world and a deep respect for different cultures, societies and religions,” the families said in a statement to The Associated Press. “We believe that when the Iranian authorities speak to our children, they will realize that Shane, Sarah and Josh had no intention of entering Iran and will allow them to leave the country and reunite with their families. We continue to hope that this misunderstanding will be resolved as quickly as possible.”