First Tourists To Iraq Since 2003 Visit Historic Sites

03.20.09 | FL News Team

An Iraqi tourism official says a group of eight Western tourists are completing a three-week trip to Iraq's historic landmarks. The travelers, who are from the U.S., Britain and Canada, are the first tourists to visit the war-torn nation since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

The official said a British adventure tour operator arranged the group's trip. Their tour has included the biblical city of Babylon, a castle built during the Ottoman empire, and the al-Askari mosque in Samarra. That Shiite mosque was bombed in 2006, which led to sectarian violence throughout Iraq.

They also are visiting the holy Shiite shrines of Kerbala and Najaf and the re-opened Iraqi National Museum.