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17 January 2006 -- Kidnappers are threatening to kill a female American journalist unless the United States frees Iraqi women prisoners within 72 hours.
Al-Jazeera satellite television has broadcast a brief video showing the journalist, Jill Carroll. She was working for the U.S. newspaper "The Christian Science Monitor" when she was abducted at gunpoint in Baghdad on 7 January. Her Iraqi translator was killed.
Al-Jazeera said that in a message accompanying the 20-second video, the kidnappers said they would kill Carroll within 72 hours if the United States does not release female prisoners in Iraq. The television station did not say how it obtained the video.
A previously unknown group calling itself the Brigades of Vengeance has apparently claimed responsibility for the abduction.
The U.S. State Department said the U.S. government was making every effort to get Carroll released as soon as possible.
The journalist's family has appealed to the kidnappers to show mercy and release the 28-year-old, saying she is innocent.
(compiled from agency reports)
RFE/RL's coverage, background, and analysis of Iraq's December 15, 2005, legislative elections.