Friday, October 21, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Four held over kidnap of Guardian journalist

Good news all round on Rory Carroll, the UK journalist recently kidnapped in Baghdad:

Iraqi police have arrested four men in connection with the kidnapping of the Guardian journalist Rory Carroll in Baghdad. The police are looking for a further four suspects.

Carroll, 33, who has been on assignment in Iraq for nine months, was freed on Thursday night after being held for 36 hours. He is due to fly back to his family's home in Dublin tomorrow.

The Iraqi police have seldom been proactive in hostage situations. But diplomats praised them for following a trail that started with the head of the family who Carroll interviewed in Sadr City. The trail led to a group of men who visited the home during the interview.

Carroll was released unharmed after intensive diplomatic negotiations behind the scenes. The Irish foreign minister, Dermot Ahern, disclosed today that his government had been helped by the British, French and Italian governments. Although Carroll is an Irish citizen, the Irish government, which opposed the war, has no diplomatic presence in Baghdad.

Mr Ahern also thanked the Iranian government for its help. He confirmed that no ransom had been paid and said he had no knowledge of any prisoner swaps.

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