7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Jet gun plot five released

FOUR Australian-Iraqi women and a young boy have been released by officials in Syria after being accused of smuggling gun parts hidden in a child's toy aboard a Gulf Air flight, according to reports.

Australia's Sunday Mail said they were detained along with two Iraqi women at Damascus airport last Tuesday while attempting to board a Gulf Air flight to Australia, via Bahrain.

The report quoted a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman as saying the four Australian women, who were born in Iraq, and boy had been released by Syrian officials.

"We understand the group has now been released and they have departed Syria," the spokeman was quoted as saying.

"We are aware of allegations that a disassembled firearm was in the group's luggage."

The spokesman was unable to say when the group had left Syria or whether they would be interviewed if they returned to Australia, the report said.

Two of the women are from Victoria and two from New South Wales, while one of them was accompanied by her son.

A Gulf Air spokesman last Friday confirmed a dismantled gun was found inside their hand luggage, said the report.

However he would not comment on media reports that Syrian officials believed they may have thwarted a hijacking.

Media reports last week said the women were detained after gun parts were found inside a toy the child was holding.

The aircraft the women had been trying to board was thoroughly searched by authorities, and nothing suspicious was found.

It was allowed to take off three hours later.

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