American held hostage in Iraq heads home

Jill Carroll, the US journalist held hostage for 82 days in Iraq, left Germany today, travelling aboard a packed airliner headed to Boston.

Jill Carroll, the US journalist held hostage for 82 days in Iraq, left Germany today, travelling aboard a packed airliner headed to Boston.

Reporters aboard the plane said they saw the 28-year-old, who was accompanied by a colleague from her current employer, The Christian Science Monitor.

The trip marked the final stage of her homecoming and came a day after she arrived at Ramstein Air Base, the sprawling base in south-western Germany, from Balad Air Base in Baghdad.

Aside from a reunion with her family, Carroll faces a lingering controversy over remarks she made in a videotape about the US occupation in Iraq.

In a video, recorded before she was freed and posted by her captors on an Islamist website, Carroll spoke out against the US military presence.

But yesterday, she said the recording was made under duress.

“During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me I would be released if I co-operated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. So I agreed,” she said in a statement.

“Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views. They are not.”

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