20 October 2005

Kidnapped reporter freed in Iraq

BBC


Guardian reporter Rory Carroll has been in Iraq for nine months

An Irish reporter kidnapped in Baghdad on Wednesday has been freed unharmed, the Guardian newspaper has said.

Rory Carroll, 33, was "safe and well" and was in the Iraqi capital's Green Zone, the Guardian's foreign desk said.

It said Mr Carroll was in good spirits and had spoken to his family and told the paper his captors had treated him well. Their identity is unclear.

Mr Carroll's father Joe said: "He sounded in terrific form, and he told me that he had a beer in his hand."

"And he assured me that he had all his limbs, and that he was, you know, really well. And he sounded great," he said.

Mr Carroll said his son's captors had come to "his cell" on Thursday and told him he could go.

The Dublin-born journalist was then driven off in the boot of a car.

Saddam victim

The Guardian said Mr Carroll had been in Baghdad with two drivers and an interpreter to interview a victim of Saddam Hussein's regime when he was kidnapped.

As he left the house where the interview had taken place, he was confronted by gunmen and he and one of the drivers were bundled into a car. The driver was released about 20 minutes later.

It is unclear whether three men arrested at the Baghdad house where Mr Carroll was snatched were involved in his release.

Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, said: "We're overjoyed that Rory has been released safe and sound. We'd like to thank all those in London, Dublin and Iraq who played a role in freeing him.

"Both British and Irish governments have been extremely helpful - as have many journalistic colleagues around the world and sympathetic groups and individuals in Baghdad."

A relative of the interviewee earlier told BBC News they had had nothing to do with the kidnapping.

Mr Carroll has been based in Iraq for the last nine months.

A graduate of Dublin's Trinity College, he started his career as a reporter for the Irish News in Belfast.


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