Journalist said to be released in Iraq

It has been reported that the British journalist kidnapped in Basra has been released.

It has been reported that the British journalist kidnapped in Basra has been released.

James Brandon's release followed mediation by representatives of rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

James Brandon, was taken to al-Sadr’s local office and freed.

He held an impromptu news conference there and thanked the kidnappers and al-Sadr’s aides for working for his release.

Brandon, 23, from London, declined to talk about the circumstances of his release.

James Brandon was kidnapped in the southern city of Basra today and threatened with death if US forces did not pull out from the Shiite holy city of Najaf in 24 hours.

He was taken from the Diafa Hotel by around 30 gunmen, some dressed as police, said Captain Hashem Abdullah of the Iraqi police.

He was shot twice in the leg and hours later a video tape released in the city showed a hooded militant standing next to the journalist and threatening to kill him if the attack on Najaf was not stopped.

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