Kidnapped journalist freed in Iraq

American journalist Jill Carroll was freed this morning after being held for nearly three months by captors in Iraq.

Carrol, 28, who worked for several international newspapers including the Boston daily Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped in Baghdad, on 7 January this year. Her captors were calling for the release of all Iraqi women prisoners held in US and Iraqi jails.

Responding to the news of Carroll’s release, Christian Science Monitor editor Richard Bergenheim said, "This is an exciting day, we couldn’t be happier. We are so pleased she’ll be back with her family. The prayers of people all over the world have been answered."

When Carroll was abducted in January her translator, Allan Enwiyah, was murdered. Over the months that she has been held captive an international campaign has been running for her release. Appeals and demonstrations have been made from Baghdad to Boston and Paris to Rome.

Friends and colleagues described Carroll as a Middle East correspondent with a dedication to in-depth coverage of Iraq.

"Jill’s ability to help others understand the issues facing all groups in Iraq has been invaluable," said Monitor Editor Richard Bergenheim.

The Washington Post wrote of Carroll: "Unlike most Western reporters in Baghdad, Carroll spoke Arabic well enough to easily talk to ordinary Iraqi people and interview Iraqi officials. She had picked up the language while working as a business reporter in Jordan and, in the days before her abduction, had renewed a plea to her Iraqi interpreter and driver to speak only Arabic to her as they traveled so she could improve her fluency, colleagues said. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Carroll worked as a reporting assistant for The Wall Street Journal until August 2002. She then moved to Jordan, and reported for the Jordan Times before pursuing a freelance career.

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