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U.S. Military Releases Reuters Journalist After 7 Months

Bloodstained camera of an international photographer injured in Iraq in 2003 (AFP) 22 January 2006 -- The U.S. military have freed an Iraqi journalist that it had been holding since June.

Samir Mohammed Noor is a freelance cameraman for the British media group Reuters from the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar.

His release comes a week after the U.S. military released two other Iraqi journalists working for Reuters. Cameraman Ali al-Mashhadani was held for five months and reporter Majed Hameed for four months. Both came from the western city of Al-Ramadi.

Reuters says all three were held without charge.

In other news from Iraq, officials reported that at least 13 people had been killed in Iraq over the past 24 hours.

An unnamed Iraqi police spokesman said that four children of a police officer and their uncle died overnight when insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades at their home in Balad Ruz.

Reports also say at least three policemen were killed by a roadside bomb in Ba'qubah, northeast of the capital, Baghdad.

Elsewhere, the U.S. military said U.S. soldiers killed three gunmen near Beiji, north of Baghdad, on 21 January. Six men were detained and four cars destroyed after one was found rigged for use as a car bomb.

The U.S. military also reported that two of its soldiers were killed by a car bomb during combat operations on 20 January in Al-Haqlaniyah, which lies on the Euphrates River, west of Baghdad.

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