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Red Cross registers over 3,000 Iraqi POWs

The International Red Cross said it had registered more than 3,000 Iraqis made prisoner of war by US and British forces.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2003 03:00 IST

The International Red Cross said on Friday it had registered more than 3,000 Iraqis made prisoner of war by US and British forces, but still had no access to United States prisoners in Iraqi hands.

"We are continuing to register Iraqi prisoners of war," said Antonella Notari, spokeswoman of the International Committee of the Red Cross: "We are also visiting POWs in camps under coalition command."

But the International Red Cross had not succeeded in gaining access to coalition POWs in Iraqi hands.

According to latest estimates as of Friday seven American soldiers have been taken prisoner and 16 were provisionally reported missing.

No British soldiers have so far been reported taken prisoner.

"We have still had no news from the Iraqi authorities about coalition prisoners of war," the spokeswoman said.

The International Red Cross is tasked under the 1949 Third Geneva Convention on prisoners of war with registering prisoners, visiting them, and ensuring respect for their rights.

The US Central Command said Wednesday there were certainly more than 4,000 Iraqi POWs, in contradiction to a figure of 9,000 given by the British government.

British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon told the House of Commons yesterday coalition forces now held more than 9,000 Iraqi prisoners of war.

First Published: Apr 05, 2003 03:00 IST