A videotape of kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll was aired late Monday by the Arabic television network, Al Jazeera, in which Carroll called for the US to release its female Iraqi prisoners, a condition her abductors set for her release.
The 28-year old journalist, who had been held in captivity since her abduction in Baghdad on January 7, was shown crying on the video.
"The American journalist kidnapped in Iraq urged her family and Americans around the world to demand that U.S. military forces and the Iraqi interior (ministry) release all Iraqi women prisoners," Al Jazeera reported. "She said that this would help in her release," the station added.
Ten days ago, the group which abducted Carroll, calling themselves the Revenge Brigade, threatened to kill her within 72 hours if their demands were not met.
The US later released five female Iraqi prisoners, though they announced that the release was not related to the adductors' demands.
The Christian Science Monitor, for which Carroll worked, made a public appeal for her release following the tape's airing.
"Anyone with a heart will feel distressed that an innocent woman like Jill Carroll would be treated in the manner shown in the latest video aired by Al Jazeera," said Richard Bergenheim, editor of the American newspaper.
"We add our voice to those of Arabs around the world, and especially to those in Iraq, who have condemned this act of kidnapping. We ask that she be returned to the protection of her family immediately," Bergenheim added.
US responds to video
Reacting to the tape, a US military spokesman said that the US would not surrender to the kidnappers demands.
"We will not make concessions to terrorist demands," Colonel Barry Johnson said.
He added that instead, the US was cooperating with Iraqi authorities "to resolve the situation as quickly as possible".
Troops have staged several raids on homes and a mosque where Carroll was thought to be held in an attempt to secure her release.
All attempts so far to locate her have been unsuccessful.
Many in the Arab world and in Iraq have condemned the adduction of Carroll, a vocal critic of the US-led invasion in Iraq, and an ardent supporter of Iraqi civil rights.
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