Source Pravda.Ru

British journalist kidnapped in Iraq freed

A journalist for a British newspaper who was kidnapped by gunmen was released unharmed on Thursday after a day in captivity, the publication said. Rory Carroll, 33, an Irish citizen who is The Guardian's Baghdad correspondent, was on assignment when he was abducted by gunmen on Wednesday.

"He just said, 'I am safe and well and I have all my limbs on,"' Carroll's father, Joe, told The Guardian after speaking to his newly freed son according to a story posted on the paper's website.

Carroll was brought to the British Embassy, where he went to sleep, in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone district of government and diplomatic buildings, the embassy said.

A resident of Baghdad's Sadr City neighbourhood who was involved in winning the journalist's release said Carroll was kidnapped by criminals and that a group of Sadr City residents raided the area in which he was held and freed him. The resident spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he did not want his involvement in the release to be known.

His account of the release could not be confirmed, News24 reports.

Carroll's father said his son had been in a cell "and representatives of the Iraqi government came for me, they had a government car waiting. I have been in Baghdad all the time."

Carroll, who had been in Iraq for about nine months, has previously reported for the Guardian from South Africa and Rome.

It was not clear where Carroll was abducted. Sadr City is an overwhelmingly Shi'ite neighbourhood of eastern Baghdad where a Shi'ite militia, the Mahdi Army, holds sway. The militia is known to aggressively keep other gunmen out of the neighbourhood.

In October 2004, American photographer Paul Taggert was abducted in Sadr City and held for three days before being released unharmed. Representatives of radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who heads the Mahdi Army, said they mediated to win his release.

T.E.

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