Iraqi policemen parade in Baghdad on Monday to mark 90 years since the foundation of the Police Force
Iraqi policemen parade in Baghdad on Monday. Four US embassy security staff were held by Iraqi forces Thursday over "suspicious" activity in central Baghdad but were released shortly after following an apparent misunderstanding, officials said. © Ahmad al-Rubaye - AFP/File
Iraqi policemen parade in Baghdad on Monday to mark 90 years since the foundation of the Police Force
AFP
Last updated: January 12, 2012

Americans briefly held by Iraqi forces

Four US embassy security staff were held by Iraqi forces Thursday over "suspicious" activity in central Baghdad but were released shortly after following an apparent misunderstanding, officials said.

The two men and two women were driving a BMW with local licence plates, rather than diplomatic registration, and were all wearing flak jackets and armed with pistols and automatic weapons, said Baghdad provincial governor Salah Abdulrazzaq.

"They (security forces) stopped them, they checked their (personal ID) badges, they found them suspicious," he told AFP, adding the group had been stopped at 9:00 am (0600 GMT) in Baghdad's central Sharchiyah neighbourhood.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the group made up of embassy staff were briefly stopped, but released shortly afterwards when their identification badges were verified.

The four were not charged with any offence.

US forces completed their withdrawal on December 18 from Iraq, a country where there were once nearly 170,000 troops on more than 500 bases.

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