BAGHDAD (AP) â€” Iraqi and US officials said Saturday they were working to free a female American journalist kidnapped off a Baghdad street one week ago but had not yet made contact with her captors.
Jill Caroll, a 28-year-old freelance reporter, has not been heard from since she was kidnapped last Saturday in one of the city’s most dangerous neighbourhoods. Gunmen ambushed her car and killed her translator shortly after she left the offices of a Sunni Arab politician.
The US embassy said it was working with local authorities “and doing everything possible to bring about her safe release.” An Iraqi interior ministry official said police were taking the matter “very seriously.” “We are doing our utmost to find her or reach her. The search continues,” said Gen. Hussein Kamal, deputy interior minister in charge of domestic intelligence.
The US military raided a prominent Sunni mosque a day after Carroll was kidnapped, sparking hundreds of worshippers to demonstrate. A US military official said the raid was a necessary immediate response to the kidnapping based on a tip provided by an Iraqi citizen.
The military said Sunday that six people were detained.
Carroll, who speaks some Arabic and wore a head covering while moving around Iraq, has been described by her editor as an aggressive reporter but not a reckless one.
Despite her language skills, Carroll used an Iraqi translator. The translator was killed during the kidnapping. The driver of their car escaped the attack and is now safe with his family, David Clark Scott, the Monitor’s international news editor said.
Maj. Falah Mohamadawi said the translator told police just before he died that the abduction took place when he and Carroll were heading to meet Adnan Dulaimi, head of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Accordance Front, in the Adel section of the city. The neighbourhood is dominated by Sunni Arabs and is considered one of the toughest in Baghdad.