Video Released of Kidnapped American Reporter

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The captors of Jill Carroll have released video of the freelance American journalist, who was kidnapped in Iraq on Jan. 7. In a new incident, armed gunmen Wednesday grabbed an engineer from the east African nation of Malawi.


This is Morning Edition from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne. One day after the release of a video of kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll, there's been another kidnapping of a foreigner in Iraq. Today, armed gunmen grabbed an engineer from an East African nation of Malawi. Jill Carroll was kidnapped on January 7th. Today, the family issued an appeal for her release. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us now from Baghdad. And let's start with Jill Carroll, what did the video show?


Well, Renee, the video that was there on Aljazeera television was brief. It was silent, so you didn't hear her voice. But we do see Jill Carroll looking calm but very tired. She was dressed in a white shirt and addressing the camera. This is the first time that she's been seen since she was abducted. Now, Al-Gezira has said that, according to the tape, her Iraqi captors are giving her 72 hours before she will be killed.

The demands are that all female prisoners in Iraq be released. We see on the video a logo of a previously unknown group called the Revenge Brigade. These kinds of demands have been made before when other females have been kidnapped, and the position of the Americans to whom these demands are being made are usually that they will not negotiate with the terrorists.

MONTAGNE: Remind us how she was kidnapped.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: She was abducted on January 7th. She was on her way back from the residence of Adnan al Dulaimi He's a leading Sunni politician. It was in a very dangerous area, in West Baghdad. Gunmen surrounded her car, they threw out her driver and then shot and killed her translator. She was then taken away.

MONTAGNE: And her parents, in their plea, call her an innocent journalist. She was doing journalist work.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's right. I mean, the Christian Science Monitor is calling for her release. They are saying that the kidnappers have, quote, "seized an innocent person who is a great admirer of the Iraqi people." Her family is also calling for her release, again, calling her an innocent journalist who should be returned to her family. And of course, it has to be said that all her fellow journalists are, are also calling for her release, as well as Aljazeera television, who aired that video of her.

MONTAGNE: And what can you tell us about today's abduction?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, what we know is that at least one, if not more, actually, engineers who work for the Iraqi telecom company, IRAQNA, have been taken. At least three cars filled with gunmen attacked their convoy. They were traveling, again, in West Baghdad, which is mainly a Sunni area of the capital. As many as ten guards who were protecting them may have been killed. We've heard one of the engineers is from Balawi(ph). This attack took place on a main road in broad daylight, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Thank you very much for joining us. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, speaking from Baghdad.

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