Tours of Iraq's ancient wonders open up as violence ebbs

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Foreign tourists will soon be tramping around Mesopotamia again after a French company on Sunday opened an office offering visits to ancient sites in war-ravaged southern Iraq.

With the road from Baghdad not yet secure, the visitors will arrive in Kuwait and cross the border to reach Nasiriyah about 370 kilometres (230 miles) away. The nine-day tour will cost 2,500 euros (3,375 dollars).

The company hopes to secure 100 clients this year, rising to 500 in 2011, Debbash said at the opening of an office for Babil Tours, a subsidiary company, in a Nasiriyah hotel.

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