An Arab television channel aired a silent 20-second videotape Tuesday night of hostage American reporter Jill Carroll and said an accompanying message gave the U.S. 72 hours to free female prisoners in Iraq or the journalist would be killed.
Al-Jazeera would not tell AP from whom it received the tape, but issued an a statement itself calling for Carroll's release. A producer for the network said the tape was received on Tuesday.
The producer said no militant group's name was attached to the message that was sent to the station with the tape.
The tape showed Carroll sitting in front of a white background and speaking, but her voice could not be heard. She appeared pale and tired. Her long straight brown hair was pulled back from her face and parted in the middle.
The State Department quickly responded with a statement saying U.S. officials were doing everything possible to win Carroll's freedom.
"We continue to make every effort we can, working with Iraqis and others, to see Miss Carroll is returned safe and sound," spokesman &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/2002/06/07/29930.html' target=_blank>Sean McCormack said.