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Hikers charged with espionage

By United Press International
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Hikers charged with espionage
31 year old Sarah Shourd, seen in an undated handout image from her family, has been detained along with Josh Fattal, 27, and Shane Bauer, 27, since July 31, 2009 after they crossed into Iran by accident while hiking in a scenic area in northern Iraq. UPI/Courtesy of the Shourd, Bauer and Fattal Families

TEHRAN, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Three U.S. hikers who said they became lost and inadvertently crossed from Iraq into Iran, have been charged with espionage.

The three U.S. citizens have been detained by Iranian authorities since July. Monday it was announced spying charges would be filed although the investigations continue.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in Berlin for ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, said, "We strongly believe there is no evidence to support any charge whatsoever."

If convicted of espionage, the three Americans could be sentenced to death.

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