In France, three Iraqi diplomats were expelled from the country on Wednesday (2 August), following a gun battle outside Iraq's Embassy in Paris in which a French policeman was shot dead.
GV Quai d'Orsay building, Paris
SV Police officers at doorway
LV People and police officers walking past building (3 shots)
SV PAN Cars carrying diplomats leaving building
GV Orly airport
LV Police cars carrying Iraqi diplomats drive on airport tarmac and halt near Iraqi Airline aircraft (3 shots)
SV Photographer climbing on net
LV Police cars and people around Iraqi aircraft (3 shots)
GV Control tower, Orly airport
GV Iraqi aircraft taxiing away
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Background: In France, three Iraqi diplomats were expelled from the country on Wednesday (2 August), following a gun battle outside Iraq's Embassy in Paris in which a French policeman was shot dead.
SYNOPSIS: The decision by the French government to expel the three men came after it was decided they were protected by diplomatic immunity. It also came amid angry protests by French police who considered he men should be tried in France. Once French policeman was shot dead in the gun battle, involving the three men, at Iraq's Embassy in Paris on Monday (31 July). When the three diplomats left Paris for Orly airport they did so with heavy security precautions around them. According to some sources, the fears for their safety were such that, as they were driven away, the men were wearing bullet-proof vests. Their expulsion came only hours after two gunmen wounded an Iraqi diplomat in Pakistan, the third attack in five days on an Iraqi diplomatic target.
There was also massive security at Orly airport, where the cars carrying and escorting the three Iraqi officials drove up onto the tarmac to the aircraft waiting to fly them out of France to Baghdad. Along with the news that the three men were to be expelled, the French government issued a statement demanding they be punished once they reached Iraq. The reasons for the recent attacks involving Iraqi diplomats are not clear, but according to Reuters news agency, a source familiar with Middle East Intelligence operations said the incidents were part of a bitter underground war between Iraqi agents and followers of the Palestine Liberation Organisation leader, Yasser Arafat. According to the source the assaults on the Iraqi targets are battles between secret agents. Reuters quote the source as saying the conflicts will become worse.