13 August 2004 -- Reports say Iraqi militants have kidnapped a British journalist in the southern city of Al-Basrah and threaten to kill him if the U.S.-led assault on the holy Shi'a city of Al-Najaf is not stopped within 24 hours.
Witnesses, hotel management, and Iraq police said a group of gunmen seized the unidentified journalist -- reportedly form "The Sunday Telegraph" -- from his hotel room in mainly Shi'a Al-Basrah. Reports say militants also shot the journalist twice in the leg.
A videotape later released in the city showed a hooded gunman next to the reporter and threatening to kill him if the attack on Al-Najaf is not stopped.
Yesterday, U.S.-led forces started what they called a major assault on Al-Najaf in a bid to defeat fighters loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
(Reuters/AP/AFP)For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".