Iraq sees first Western tour group since Saddam fell

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Iraq has received its first group of Western tourists since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said on Thursday.

The group of eight holidaymakers -- five Britons, two Americans and a Canadian -- arrived on March 8 and toured Iraq's landmark historic sites, including the Biblical city of Babylon, fabled home to the Hanging Gardens.

Their three week trip was organized by a British adventure tour operator, ministry spokesman Abdul-Zahra al-Telagani said, but he declined to name the company.

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