Sarah Shourd says hikers report on WikiLeaks is wrong

Categories: International

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Minnesotan Shane Bauer
Americans Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd were arrested in July 2009 after a border guard motioned the three off a hiking trail and onto Iranian soil.

They were not in Iraq when they were arrested, Shourd told the New York Times. A military report released last week on WikiLeaks suggested otherwise.

The Times says Shourd stepped forward to correct that report.

Shourd was released by Iran in September. Bauer, who grew up in Onamia and whose mother lives in Pine City, and Fattal, of California, remain in prison.

The three had traveled to the mountains in July 2009 from Damascus, where Bauer was a freelance journalist and Shourd was a teacher. Fattal was visiting them from this U.S., and three were camping in area relatively free of warfare and known for stunning scenery and climbing.

Shourd said she and her two friends were hiking on the Iraqi Kurdistan side of the border in the mountains when a guard motioned to them.

"He pointed to the ground and said 'Iran' and pointed to the trail we had been on before he waved to us, then said 'Iraq,' " Ms. Shourd said by telephone from her home in Oakland, Calif. "We did not actually enter Iran until he gestured to us. We were confused and worried and wanted to go back."

But it was too late. The three were arrested. Bauer and Fattal were set to stand trial as spies this month. News broke this morning that Iran has postponed the trial.

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