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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 December, 2003, 22:14 GMT
Arabs 'badly injured' in custody
Iraqi POWs leave camp near Umm Qasr
Most Iraqi prisoners have already been released from Umm Qasr
Three Arabs arrested by US-led forces in Iraq have suffered serious injuries while in detention, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says.

The three were among a group of eight Arab prisoners who have now been freed. They have been flown to the Jordanian capital Amman.

The three may be permanently disabled, a Red Cross spokesman in Amman said.

One of them had had his leg amputated at the knee while in custody. It is not yet clear how the injuries occurred.

The eight men - five Jordanians, two Lebanese and one Syrian - arrived at a small civilian airport in Amman, from where the latter three flew on to their home countries.

'Extensive contacts'

They had been flown out of Iraq aboard an ICRC plane after being released from a detention facility in Umm Qasr in the south of the country.

Most Iraqi prisoners captured in the early stages of the war have already been released from the camp.

But the US military said last month that it was still holding over 300 non-Iraqi suspects in the country, mainly Syrians and Iranians.

There were also 37 Jordanian prisoners, including the five now released.

Jordanian media said the release followed extensive contacts between Jordanian and US-led coalition authorities.

President Bush has blamed much of the post-war violence in Iraq on what he calls foreign terrorists.


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