Iran Captured Hikers in Iraq
WikiLeaks releases field report from chaotic day of their arrest
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2010 7:02 AM CDT
In this May 21, 2010 file photo, American hikers Shane Bauer, left, Josh Fattal, center, and Sarah Shourd are shown in Tehran.   (AP Photo/Press TV, File)
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(Newser) – Among the many revelations of WikiLeaks' latest file dump: Three American hikers accused of illegally crossing into Iran were actually seized on the Iraqi side of the border. According to the New York Times, WikiLeaks released a classified July 31 field report describing the "chaotic day." It states that Shon Meckfessel, a fourth hiker with the group who stayed behind after falling ill, learned Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd had been arrested when a “female called him saying they were being surrounded by armed men.

The report initially describes the arrests as a "kidnapping" and says the three "were being taken to the Iranian border." It details several military grids where the trio was thought to have been hiking or detained—all are in Iraq. Later that day, a Kurdish military officer stationed in northern Iraq reported that the Iranians had detained the three "for being too close to the border." The Times notes that initial reports are not always accurate, but was told by a US government official who had served in Iraq that the report was in line with what Iraqi officials had told him. Click here for more details, or here for the latest on the hikers' fate.