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Iraq Transition

Video of abducted U.S. journalist airs

Al-Jazeera: Carroll urges release of female Iraqi prisoners

Jill Carroll asks for the release of female Iraqi prisoners, according to Al-Jazeera, which aired the video.


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(CNN) -- In new footage aired Monday on an Arabic-language news network, an American journalist kidnapped in Iraq urged Americans to plead for the release of female Iraqi prisoners to help secure her release, the network said.

Appearing distraught, Jill Carroll wore a head scarf and spoke English in the video, which was dated January 28, the Qatar-based satellite network Al-Jazeera reported. The network broadcast the images but did not air the sound.

It said that Carroll urged her family, colleagues and Americans around the world to appeal to U.S. officials and the Iraqi Interior Ministry on her behalf.

Last Thursday, the U.S. military in Iraq released five female detainees after determining they were not security threats. Four female prisoners reportedly remain in U.S. custody.

The tape was dated January 28 and bore the logo of the Brigades of Vengeance, the group that claimed responsibility for Carroll's January 7 abduction. CNN has no way to confirm when or where the video was shot.

Carroll, a 28-year-old freelance writer who grew up in Michigan, was working for the Christian Science Monitor when she was taken hostage.

Richard Bergenheim, the non-religious newspaper's editor, called for her to be returned "to the protection of her family immediately."

"Anyone with a heart will feel distressed that an innocent woman like Jill Carroll would be treated in the manner shown in the latest video," Bergenheim said in a written statement. "We add our voice to those of Arabs around the world, and especially to those in Iraq, who have condemned this act of kidnapping."

Her captors had threatened to kill her unless all female prisoners were freed, but no word on her fate had emerged since the group issued a 72-hour deadline in a previous video that aired January 17.

The five women released last week were among 424 detainees released "as a result of detailed screening," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a U.S. military spokesman.

The release of the female detainees was "part of our normal process, and not as a result of demands by terrorists and criminals," Lynch reiterated. "We don't negotiate with terrorists and criminals."

Bosho Ibrahim Ali, a deputy justice minister, told CNN last week the remaining four female prisoners might be released with another group at another time. Ali said he had started his effort to free the female detainees for humanitarian reasons before Carroll's abduction.

The Monitor -- based in Boston, Massachusetts -- has posted on its Web site appeals for Carroll's release from Muslims and non-Muslims.

They include Adnan al-Dulaimi, the powerful Sunni politician whom Carroll tried to interview on the day she was kidnapped.

The Monitor said al-Dulaimi was not in his office when Carroll arrived for an interview, and her car was ambushed as she left. Carroll's interpreter was killed in the attack.

Both of Carroll's parents have appealed for her release in CNN interviews. Her father, Jim Carroll, canceled planned appearances on Arab television networks after Monday's video aired and did not plan any further statements.

Hostage-taking has been one of the insurgency's tactics in Iraq.

Al-Jazeera on Saturday aired a tape in which it said kidnappers renewed their threat to kill four Western hostages unless U.S.-led forces release Iraqi prisoners. (Full story)

And a day earlier, the network aired a video showing a pair of German hostages who were kidnapped in Baiji days before. (Full story)

ABC crew heading to U.S.

ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and photographer Doug Vogt began their journey Tuesday back to the United States aboard a military medical transport plane for further treatment for the wounds they sustained Sunday in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq.

Woodruff and Vogt are accompanied on the flight by a critical care air transport (CCAT) team -- essentially an intensive care unit in the air.

ABC's top news official said Monday that Woodruff and his cameraman "have shown some signs of improvement."

Woodruff, the 44-year-old co-anchor of "World News Tonight," and Vogt, 46, arrived in Germany on Monday morning to receive treatment for wounds they suffered Sunday near Taji, Iraq, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

ABC News President David Westin said families of the two had met with doctors, who "will continue to monitor their condition closely," according to a news release. (Full story)

According to Reporters Without Borders, 79 media workers have been killed in Iraq since the United States invaded in March 2003.

The organization said 35 news media workers have been abducted since the start of the war, including Carroll. Five of the kidnap victims were killed.

Other developments

  • The Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed Monday that a 15-year-old girl died last month after being infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu. Ministry spokesman Qassim Allawi said officials were "in the process of cleansing the area" -- a remote region about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the Iranian border -- of infected birds. (Full story)
  • CNN's Octavia Nasr contributed to this report.

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