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Russian Bikers Detained in Iraq Return to Moscow

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Four Russian bikers detained in Iraq on May 20 for illegally crossing the Iraqi border and released on Friday have returned to Moscow, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Monday.

Four Russian bikers detained in Iraq on May 20 for illegally crossing the Iraqi border and released on Friday have returned to Moscow, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Monday.

A plane with the bikers on board landed in Vnukovo Airport near Moscow at 10:28 p.m. Moscow Time (18:28 GMT). Their relatives and friends met them at the airport.

The four bikers were detained near Baghdad on espionage and visa forgery charges after they came from Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region which does not require an Iraqi visa for travelers from Turkey. The men reportedly had no Iraqi visas.

The bikers’ arrest triggered a diplomatic row, with Moscow sending notes to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, demanding their immediate release. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani pledged their quick release on Thursday.

Hundreds of Moscow bikers also held a rally on Thursday near the Iraqi Embassy in support of their detained buddies.

 

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