Fri, Nov 18, 2005
Dismantled Gun Found In Carry-On Bags, Child's Toy?
Four Australian woman
and a young boy were detained Thursday in Syria -- not a good place
for that to happen -- after a dismantled gun was found inside their
carry-on items and baggage. The group was attempting to board a
Gulf Air flight in Damascus bound for Australia, with a stopover in
"I understand that the pieces of weapon were in hand luggage,
but there were bullets in the [baggage] hold," said Gulf Air
spokesman David Baker to the AAP news service. "Gulf Air security
and the Syrian authorities' security pulled up the group and they
were stopped from boarding the plane."
"It was just normal security processes carried out by the Syrian
authorities," Baker added.
No names have been released in the incident, although it was
confirmed the boy is the son of one of the women. All five were
carrying Australian passports, and one source claims parts of the
gun were found in a toy the child was carrying onboard the
While the intentions of
the women weren't immediately known, Syrian officials believe they
may have intercepted a terrorist attempt -- something neither Gulf
Air nor Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer were ready to
"All I know is that they were detained in Syria and were
believed to have in their possession a disassembled gun, so they
have been detained," Mr. Downer said. "We don't have an embassy in
Damascus. The Canadians represent our consular interests there so
they're trying to get in touch with the women and find out
precisely what's happened."
The aircraft, after being thoroughly searched by officials, was
allowed to leave Damascus approximately three hours later.
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