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U.S. Reporter's Kidnappers Set Deadline, TV Channel Says

February 11, 2006|From Associated Press

BAGHDAD — Kidnappers of American journalist Jill Carroll have threatened to kill her if their demands are not met by Feb. 26, the owner of a Kuwaiti TV channel that aired a new tape of the hostage said Friday.

Jassem Boudai, owner of Al Rai satellite channel, said the kidnappers had set "more specific" demands than the release of all Iraqi women from prison, which the group laid down in the first videotape, aired in mid-January by Al Jazeera satellite channel. He refused to elaborate.

He said that "sources close to the kidnappers" told the channel Friday of the new deadline.

The small, privately owned Al Rai aired a tape Thursday showing Carroll, 28, appealing for her supporters to do whatever it takes to win her release "as quickly as possible."

It was the third tape of Carroll; the second was aired Jan. 30 by Al Jazeera.

The U.S. military has released five Iraqi women from detention but said the releases were routine and not part of any swap for Carroll, a freelance journalist who was working for the Christian Science Monitor. Five Iraqi women remain in U.S. military custody.

Friday's message was not conveyed in the latest videotape, but by "another method," Boudai said. He did not elaborate, and it was unclear whether he had passed the latest demands along to authorities.

Boudai said the sources claimed that Carroll, who was abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad by an unknown group, was "in a safe house owned by one of the kidnappers in downtown Baghdad with a group of women."

He said the sources also claimed that Carroll was in good psychological condition and was doing housework with the women.

The sources also said the kidnappers denied killing Carroll's interpreter.

Al Rai broadcast the new 22-second video in its entirety and with Carroll's voice, unlike the Al Jazeera channel, which has a policy not to broadcast audio.

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