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Kuwait Wants Information on Prisoners Taken by Iraq

Kuwait has submitted an urgent request to the Arab League in hopes of finally determining what happened to hundreds of Kuwaitis it believes Iraq may have imprisoned during the Gulf war.

An Arab League official told VOA Kuwait submitted the request after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Sunday he was pardoning all prisoners in Iraq, including political prisoners.

Kuwait wants the Arab League's help in determining whether any Kuwaitis are being held in Iraqi prisons and whether they, too, will be pardoned.

The Arab League official said Secretary-General Amr Moussa is in contact with Iraqi government officials as a result of the Kuwaiti request.

Since the conclusion of the Gulf War in 1991, Kuwait has accused Iraq of holding as many as 600 Kuwaitis in Iraqi prisons. Iraq has denied it is holding any Kuwaiti prisoners and accuses Kuwait of holding thousands of Iraqis in Kuwaiti prisons.

Resolving the issue of possible Gulf war prisoners is one of the conditions Iraq must meet in order to have sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council lifted.