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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Iran holds three Finnish anglers
Three Finns have been detained by Iran while fishing in the Gulf, Finnish diplomats have said.

The three were arrested off the island of Abu Musa on Saturday, they said.

Finnish officials said they were in contact with the Iranian authorities and were confident the men would be released soon.

In March this year, Iran detained 15 British sailors and marines after seizing their ship in what Tehran said were Iran's waters in the Persian Gulf.

They were released after almost two weeks in captivity.

The three men - employees of Finnish communications firm Nokia in Dubai - seem to have drifted into Iranian-controlled waters as they were on a recreational fishing trip from the United Arab Emirates, Finnish officials said.

"There are three Finnish citizens who were fishing and strayed into an off-limits area near Abu Musa island. This is a sensitive area and it happens," Esa Hurtig at the Finnish Embassy in Abu Dhabi told Reuters news agency.

A Finnish foreign ministry spokesman quoted by the Associated Press news agency said Iranian officials had said the men could be released within 48 hours.

Former Iran captives back on ship
30 Apr 07 |  Middle East

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