Journalist kidnapped in Iraq, translator killed

Gunmen kidnapped a female journalist and killed her Iraqi translator yesterday in western Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said.

Gunmen kidnapped a female journalist and killed her Iraqi translator yesterday in western Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said.

Major Falah Mohamadawi said gunmen kidnapped the American journalist and killed her translator.

According to Samir Najim, a guard at al-Dulaimi’s office, three armed men in a red Opel car intercepted the journalist’s car and shot the translator before taking her in their car and driving away.

The kidnapping took place about 100 meters from al-Dulaimi’s office.

According to Mohamadawi, the translator told police before he died that she had been kidnapped and that they had been heading to meet Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Accordance Front who lives in the Adel neighbourhood - dominated by Sunni Arabs and considered one of toughest in Baghdad.

Insurgents have kidnapped more than 250 foreigners in the past two years, aiming to force multinational troops to leave Iraq or prevent Arab nations from strengthening their ties with the Baghdad government, some hostages were killed, others were released after paying ransoms or freed after Muslim clerics called the armed groups to release them.

On December 8, the Islamic Army in Iraq claimed to have killed US electrician Ronald Schulz. Other groups are holding a French engineer and four Christian humanitarian workers – two Canadians, a Briton and an American.

No news has been received about the fate of the men since a group claiming responsibility for their capture imposed a December 10 deadline for their killings.

The previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigade had threatened to kill the group if the US and Britain did not release all detainees in Iraq.

Briton Norman Kember, 74, Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, and American Tom Fox, 54, were abducted in Baghdad on November 26.

All four were working in Iraq with Christian Peacemaker Teams, a Canadian-based organisation that has investigated allegations of abuse against Iraqi prisoners.

Kidnappers last week released two men, a Cypriot businessman and a Lebanese engineer.

Camille Nassif Tannous, who works for the Schneider engineering firm, was released unharmed by his abductors on January 1. Tannous was kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad in late December.

A Cypriot-Lebanese, 41-year-old Garabet Jekerjian, kidnapped in Iraq over four months ago, was released after payment of a ransom.

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