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Reporter feared kidnapped in Iraq

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Guardian journalist Rory Carroll is feared kidnapped in Iraq.

SPECIAL REPORT

• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A daily British newspaper has said its Baghdad correspondent is missing and thought to have been kidnapped in Iraq.

The Guardian issued a statement Wednesday saying Rory Carroll, 33, was unaccounted for after going on an assignment earlier in the day.

"Mr. Carroll may have been taken by a group of armed men," it said.

The newspaper was "urgently seeking information about Mr. Carroll's whereabouts and condition."

Carroll has been based in Iraq for the past nine months. The newspaper described him as one of its "most experienced foreign correspondents."

Formerly posted in Rome and South Africa, Carroll is a citizen of the Republic of Ireland -- an officially neutral nation that has been critical of U.S.-led military operations in Iraq.

Earlier Wednesday, the journalist had broadcast a live report on the trial of Saddam Hussein on the Romanian news channel Realitatea TV, The Associated Press reported.

The channel said Carroll had been working for it on a freelance basis and had been kidnapped after trying to learn what ordinary Iraqis thought of the trial.

Joe Carroll, the missing journalist's father, said his family had been contacted by the Guardian's editor Alan Rusbridger and informed of the possible abduction.

"It was something we have been secretly dreading and were hoping would never happen," he told the UK's Press Association.

Carroll, a former foreign correspondent, said he was willing to travel to Baghdad to help secure his son's release. "We have to just wait and hope and say prayers," he added.

Insurgents in Iraq have kidnapped more than 220 foreigners and killed nearly 40 of them.

The last reported abduction of a foreigner was in September, when a video posted on the Internet showed a Lebanese man being held at gunpoint.

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