• Kyodo

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Several men with automatic rifles in a minibus claiming to be police officers attempted to pass through a security checkpoint early Saturday morning on a road leading to the Japanese camp outside Samawah, Iraq, the police said.

They were stopped and detained by local police, they said.

The police are on heightened alert as the men could have been planning an attack on the Ground Self-Defense Force camp, as it is the only destination on the road after the checkpoint. The camp is 2 km from the checkpoint.

On April 7, mortar shells or rockets fell about 300 meters from the camp.

The men, driving a South Korean minibus, were wearing civilian clothes and carrying Kalashnikov automatic rifles, the Samawah police said. Except for one, the men were carrying no police IDs or badges. The police suspect the ID carried by one man was a fake.

A public relations officer at the GSDF camp said they had not received any information about the men.

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