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On a life-list of hiking hot-spots, you rarely see Iran listed with usual faves like Yosemite or Glacier. But Iranian authorities arrested 3 American hikers who crossed into their country while hiking in the border mountains near Ahmed Awa, Iraq on Friday.
Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal are all described as seasoned travelers and familiar with the Middle East who may have accidentally crossed the unmarked border into Iran from the Iraqi region of Kurdistan. A fourth hiker, Shon Meckfessel, remained in Iraq after getting sick.
Local police in Ahmed Awa warned the hikers about the fuzzy border and potential danger therein, but the hikers chose to press on to the mountains, which are said to contain lush forests, waterfalls, and extensive cave systems.
The status of the hikers remains unknown, but U.S. authorities are currently working on securing their release through intermediary country Switzerland (the U.S. has no formal relations with Iran). Keep checking the Daily Dirt for updates.