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The World : Panama Detains 30 GIs

February 23, 1988

About 30 U.S. servicemen were detained briefly by Panamanian police for allegedly violating an agreement by wearing uniforms while riding motorcycles in the city, a spokesmen for the U.S. Southern Command said. The servicemen were held for one to two hours but were not charged. "It's an unwarranted detention," said the spokesman. "We see nothing wrong with the practice (of U.S. military personnel traveling to work in uniform)." The spokesman said it was the largest number of U.S. servicemen ever detained in Panama and comes amid worsening relations between the two countries as a result of recent indictments by two federal grand juries of Panamanian strongman Manuel A. Noriega on drug-trafficking and racketeering charges.

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