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Reaction to reporter Carroll's release

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(CNN) -- The release Thursday of American journalist Jill Carroll nearly three months after her kidnapping in Baghdad elicited joy from family, friends and officials as well as expressions of hope for the release of other hostages in Iraq:

Jim Carroll, the reporter's father, said he was asleep when the telephone rang about 6 a.m. The voice on the other end of the line said simply, "Hi, Dad. This is Jill. I'm released." (Watch a spokesman express the family's feelings -- 1:15)

Mary Beth Carroll, Jill's mother, said in a statement read by her brother, Peter Alonzi, in Evanston, Illinois: "My wish is that this joyous occasion will offer hope to all the mothers of Iraq whose children have been kidnapped. ... May they all be returned safely and quickly to their mothers' arms."

Richard Bergenheim, editor of The Christian Science Monitor, the paper for which Carroll freelanced, said, "Often more than 30 Iraqis a day are kidnapped, and the world does not hear their voices or that of their families. ... I can't help but reflect on the conditions in which other captives have been held, which have been very grim."

Tariq al-Hashimi, secretary-general of the Iraqi Islamic Party, was seen on a videotape offering Carroll presents, including the Quran: "I extend my congratulations to you, your family, to the American people for your safety and I'm very pleased you are with us today."

President Bush said, "Thank God. ... I'm just really grateful she was released, and I want to thank those who worked hard to release her, and we're glad she's alive."

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hailed the release, expressing "the great delight and the great relief of the United States." (Watch the president and Rice react to Carroll's release -- 1:27)

Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, said Carroll "is safe, she is free, and she appears in good health and in great spirits. ... We're going to work as hard as we can to help her get home as soon as possible."

The Christian Science board of directors said in a statement: "We're deeply thankful for the monumental labors that went on in agencies and offices of the United States government, within the government of Iraq, and among individuals in Iraq and worldwide. To everyone who offered private and published messages of support along the way, you have our heartfelt thanks."

Micah Garen, former captive in Iraq, said: "Jill is a wonderful person, and she showed so much compassion to Iraq. ... She's been released unharmed. I think everybody can celebrate this."

Jackie Spinner, a Washington Post reporter who covered Iraq, said of Carroll: "This is a woman of tremendous courage. Obviously she did something right to get herself out of the situation, starting from the fair reporting that she did during her many months in Iraq."

Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said: "We are overjoyed that this ordeal has finally ended and that Jill Carroll has been returned safely. We continue to call for the release of other remaining captives in Iraq, and we urge armed groups to stop targeting innocent civilians."

Reporters Without Borders said: "We thank all those throughout the world, particularly the major Arabic media, who campaigned for the release of this young journalist. ... Our campaign will not be over until the three Iraqi reporters, Rim Zeid, Marwan Khazaal and Ali Abdullah Fayad, have been released in their turn."

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that the group welcomes Carroll's release as "a positive development and we hope it leads to the release of all hostages currently held in Iraq. ... We hope that we had at least some small part in winning her release and convincing the kidnappers their actions were counterproductive to the interests of the people of Iraq."

Richard Kolko, FBI spokesman, said, "We are obviously pleased that Jill Carroll has been released. Many U.S. government agencies and the FBI worked diligently behind the scenes on the Jill Carroll kidnapping case. The FBI's Office for Victim Assistance will now work to reunite Jill with her family."

CNN's Susan Garraty and Jason Carroll contributed to this report.

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