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Iranian president says 2 U.S. hikers to be freed in 2 days

(Xinhua)

08:58, September 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said two U.S. men jailed in Iran last month will be freed in two days, according to the U.S. television network NBC.

The three U.S. hikers, Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd, were arrested in Iran on July 31, 2009 for illegally entering Iran and were later charged with espionage.

Shourd was released by Tehran's prosecutor in September 2010 on a bail of 500,000 U.S. dollars due to her health situation.

The NBC, which interviewed Ahmadinejad in Iran, said the Iranian president had confirmed the two hikers would be released in two days. The interview was due to air later Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.

The bail of the two hikers, who were sentenced to eight years in prison in August, has been set at 500,000 dollars each, their lawyers said Tuesday.

Bauer, Fattal and Shourd say they were hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq and, if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran, it was by mistake.

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