US troops release members of Iranian delegation, hand them to Iraqis

US troops released seven Iranians hours after detaining them at a central Baghdad hotel, an Iranian embassy official said Wednesday. The Iranian diplomat, who refused to give his name, told The Associated Press that one of those released contacted the embassy Wednesday morning to say that they have been handed to Iraqi authorities. Late Tuesday, American troops raided Baghdad's Sheraton Ishtar hotel and took away a group of about 10 people. The diplomat said the seven Iranians included an embassy staffer and six members of a delegation from Iran's Electricity Ministry. "At 7 a.m. today, a member of the delegation called the embassy and said they are now at the prime minister's office," the diplomat said. "The Americans released them. They held them until seven this morning."