Text by Alyson Sheppard
Three American hikers are being held in Iran for allegedly crossing the border in from Iraq, which is illegal without government permission. The Iranian government claims freelance journalists Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and sustainable farmer Joshua Fattal are CIA operatives.
According to Bauer's boss at the Pacific News Service, Bauer had told them that he and his girlfriend, Shourd, were going backpacking through a tourist area in the Iraqi Kurdish region. The Kurdish city Halabja and the border town Ahmed Awaa are renowned tourist destinations, popular for their hiking trails and thick pistachio tree groves. This is where they crossed the border accidentally, according to a colleague they contacted shortly after arrest on Friday. It is unknown how they met up with Fattal, as well as their current safety.
NPR has the AP article here.
The New York Times has an article here.
CNN quotes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton here.