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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Australians set free in Syria after gun investigation

Four Australian women and a young boy have been released by officials in Syria after being accused of trying to take a dismantled gun aboard a plane. The women and the boy were detained along with two Iraqi women at Damascus airport last Tuesday while attempting to board a Gulf Air flight bound for Australia, via Bahrain. A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) spokesman said the four Australian women, who were born in Iraq, and boy had been released by Syrian officials.

The DFAT spokesman was unable to say when the group had left Syria or whether they would be interviewed if they returned to Australia. Two of the women are from Victoria and two from NSW. One was accompanied by her son. A Gulf Air spokesman last Friday confirmed a dismantled gun was found inside their hand luggage. However he would not comment on media reports that Syrian officials believed they may have thwarted a hijacking.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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