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|Monday, August 27, 2001, updated at 08:39(GMT+8)|
Iraq Confirms Death of Saudi Border "Infiltrator"Iraq has informed the Arab League that a group of armed Saudi militants infiltrated into Iraq territory Friday and one of them was shot and died later in an exchange of fire with Iraqi border guards, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) said Sunday.
INA quoted an unidentified Iraqi official as saying that at Friday night, about 10 Saudi militants made inroads into Iraq's Slaikhat and Dhaher posts in the southern Muthana Province bordering Saudi Arabia.
They exchanged fire with Iraqi border guards and withdrew from the Iraqi territory after one of them was wounded, the official said.
The injured, identified as Saad Mutlag Slaibi, died on the way to hospital, according to the official.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has also informed the Baghdad office of the International Committee of the Red Cross to prepare procedures for returning the body to the Saudi side, he added.
The official held Saudi authorities "fully responsible for the continuous incursions of Saudi armed groups into Iraqi territory."
"Iraq is keen on keeping the Iraqi-Saudi border unviolated and Iraq is committed to good-neighborly relations with Saudi Arabia," INA quoted the official as saying.
The latest incident could further strain the relations between the two Arab neighbors.
Iraq has repeatedly reviled Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for hosting U.S. and British warplanes which have been enforcing the two no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War.
Saudi Arabia, which strongly condemned Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, was part of the U.S.-led multinational coalition that evicted Iraqi troops out of Kuwait after a seven- month occupation.
As a close American ally in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia has been following the U.S. policy of military strikes and economic embargo toward Iraq in the past decade.
Iraq Submits Letter to AL in Protest Against Saudi IncursionMohsen Khalil, Iraqi permanent delegate to the Cairo-based Arab League (AL), presented a letter to AL chief Amr Moussa on Sunday to protest the alleged Saudi Arabian incursion into the Iraqi territory.
In the letter, Baghdad said a 10-person Saudi patrol invaded the Iraqi territory on Friday night.
The Saudi security team, backed with light weapons, sneaked into the Iraqi lands. During a confrontation with Iraqi border guards, one Saudi member was seriously injured, Egypt's state-run MENA news agency quoted the letter as saying.
The injured man, identified as Saad Mutlag Slaibi, died on the way to a hospital, the letter said, adding that contacts are under way with the International Committee of the Red Cross to prepare for handing over the body to Saudi Arabia.
Iraq's ties with neighboring Saudi Arabia strained following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, which triggered the 1991 Gulf War that evicted Iraqi troops out of Kuwait after a seven-month occupation.
Iraq has repeatedly accused Kuwait and Saudi Arabia of being " full culprits" by collaborating with the U.S. and Britain to attack Iraq.
The U.S. and Britain have been using military bases in the two Gulf Arab countries to monitor the so-called no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq imposed by the Western allies after the Gulf War.
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