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Iraq: Indonesia reporters missing


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JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- A pair of Indonesian journalists are missing in Iraq and may have been taken captive by uniformed gunmen, Indonesia's Foreign Ministry said Friday.

"We have received unconfirmed reports out of our embassy in Amman in Jordan that two Indonesian nationals, or precisely two Indonesian reporters ... have been taken away by armed individuals," Foreign Ministry Marty Natalegawa said.

"At this time we hope that this is not confirmed but if it is confirmed clearly we will do all we can to ensure that they will be released."

According to their boss, Don Bosco, the news director at Metro TV, the journalists and their driver, traveling in an SUV, were en route from Amman, Jordan to Karbala -- about 50 miles south of Baghdad.

They were last heard from Tuesday, shortly after crossing the border from Jordan into Iraq, Natalegawa said.

The owner of the SUV, after not hearing back from his driver, called the driver's mobile phone. But someone else answered and said the vehicle had been stopped in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi by uniformed men and taken to an unknown location.

Staff from the Indonesia Embassy in Amman have been dispatched to Ramadi to investigate the report.

Sasha Yusharyahya, a spokeswoman for Metro TV, identified the two journalists as Meutya Hafid, a woman reporter, and Budianto, a cameraman, The Associated Press reported.

She said the station last had contact with the pair on Tuesday afternoon and was working with the foreign ministry to learn their fate. The two have been in Iraq since Jan. 31, she said.

Hafid just returned from a two-week stint in tsunami-devastated Aceh, while Budianto covered the Iraq war in 2003 for the station.


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