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5 Cases of Kidnapping Reported

August 17, 2004|From Times Wire Services

BAGHDAD — Two Turkish truck drivers, an Iraqi intelligence officer and a French American journalist and his translator have been reported kidnapped in Iraq.

Armed assailants attacked a convoy of Turkish trucks delivering supplies to U.S. forces and took the two drivers hostage, their company said Monday.

The two Turks, identified as Mustafa Koksal and Durmus Kumdereli, were abducted outside the northern Iraqi city of Mosul after delivering bottled water to a U.S. base in Baghdad on Saturday, said Oktay Gorgun, an official with the trucking company based in the southern Turkish city of Mersin.

"We have not received any news about any demands from the kidnappers," said Gorgun, who asked that his company not be identified for fear of retribution.

Satellite television channel Al Jazeera reported today that suspected militants had kidnapped an Iraqi intelligence officer in response to the fighting in Najaf.

The Arabic-language channel showed footage of a man standing between two masked men. There was no audio, but Al Jazeera quoted the militants as saying they had kidnapped the officer in response to the fighting in Najaf.

The station also reported the kidnapping of journalist Micah Garen on Monday in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya.

At Garen's father's home in New Haven, Conn., a family friend said there had been no word from Micah Garen since Friday. Reporters Without Borders released a plea from the journalist's fiancee.

"I am appealing to Micah Garen's kidnappers to please release him -- he was simply doing his job as a journalist by independently reporting on the outcome of recent events in Iraq and by trying to help preserve Iraq's archeological heritage," Marie-Helene Carleton said in the statement.

The organization said his Iraqi translator, Amir Doshe, also had disappeared.

Meanwhile, two Lebanese truck drivers kidnapped two weeks ago in Iraq were freed and were heading back to Lebanon, a brother of one of them said.

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