Iraqi soldiers raided a home and freed a British CBS journalist from captivity in Basra, Iraq, after two months of imprisonment. Richard Butler, a photojournalist, and an Iraqi interpreter were kidnapped by men dressed as security guards, but the interpreter was released after negotiations on February 13. One guard was arrested and three others are still on the run.
There are mixed stories about whether or not the army had a hint of Butler’s location–one general said they randomly found him on a weapons raid, while another said a tip led them to the house.
Butler appeared on Iraqi television after being freed, apparently in good health. After an Iraqi official asked Butler, “Iraqi Army good?” Butler responded:
“Iraqi Army brilliant. The Iraqi Army stormed my house and overcame my guard.”
Names of which person or group kidnapped the men has not yet been released. The Basra area has seen large amounts of violence, including the deaths of two other journalists.
Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists said the kidnapping:
“is a terrible reminder of the risks journalists are taking to shed light on this conflict, specifically on what’s happening in southern Iraq.”
CBS Journalist is Freed in Iraqi Raid – [NY Times]
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