Two U.S. diplomats detained by radical Palestinians for eight hours last week were caught taking pictures in a restricted area near a guerrilla training camp, the Syrian Foreign Ministry and a Palestinian group said Saturday.

A ministry statement published in the pro-Syrian newspaper As Safir said the Americans, identified by Syria as Col. Clifford Robert Ward, a military attache, and his assistant Maj. Robert Siegel, were caught taking pictures of a Palestinian refugee camp outside Damascus March 3.The statement said members of Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command detained the two diplomats because they were in a forbidden area and carried maps and cameras equipped with zoom lenses.