Abductors of American journalist Jill Carroll release videotape with demands

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The abductors of American journalist Jill Carroll released today a silent 20-second video of the abducted journalist on Al-Jazeera television news channel. Along with the video came a statement demanding the United States release all female prisoners in Iraq within 72 hours or they will kill her. Al-Jazeera has not revealed where the video was sent from.

In the video, Carroll is seated in front of a white background, apparently speaking, although the tape contained no sound. She appears pale and tired with long brown hair parted in the middle and pulled back from her face.

Carroll is a 28-year old freelance reporter working for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper in Iraq since October 2003. She was kidnapped on January 7 in one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods. Just after leaving the office of a Sunni Arab politician, Adnan al-Dulaimi, her car was ambushed by gunmen who killed her Iraqi translator. The driver got away unharmed as he was pulled from the car by the gunmen who then drove away with the vehicle.

Carroll's family has issued a statement pleading for mercy. Both Al-Jazeera and the editors of the Boston, Massachusetts-based paper have also called for her safe release.

According to Reporters Sans Frontieres, a Paris, France-based advocacy group, Carroll is the latest of 31 journalists to be abducted in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. Six journalists have been killed by abductors, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.