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An Arab television channel aired a silent 20-second videotape Tuesday night of hostage American reporter Jill Carroll and said an accompanying message gave the United States 72 hours to free female prisoners in Iraq or the journalist would be killed.
Dead line Passes With No Word on Reporter
U.S. negotiators were working around the clock to secure the release of hostage American journalist Jill Carroll as a deadline set by militants threatening to kill her passed Friday with no word on her fate.
A U.S. official said little has been heard from the kidnappers since two roughly 20-second portions of the videotape were aired Tuesday and Thursday. They showed Carroll sitting in a house, surrounded by three armed, masked men.
Iraqi kidnappers have often given deadlines or ultimatums only to ignore them and keep holding captives. Kidnappers of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, seized in Baghdad in February 2005, initially gave Italy 72 hours to withdraw its troops from Iraq. The Italians did not comply, but Sgrena was released a month later.
It still amazes that we cannot trail their sources.
She is the latest in a series of abductions of female journalists. Florence Aubenas, a veteran reporter for the French daily Liberation, was kidnapped in January 2005 and released last summer. Giuliana Sgrena, a reporter for Italy's Il Manifesto, was abducted in February 2005 and released a month later. She was wounded by U.S. troops as she was being driven to freedom. The body of Iraqi journalist Raeda Mohammed Wageh Wazzan was found on Feb. 25, 2005, in Mosul, five days after she was kidnapped by masked men. She had been shot in the head.