Iraqi official believes kidnapped American reporter will be released

A top Iraqi police officer said Thursday that he be believed kidnapped American reporter Jill Carroll will be freed, adding the release of five Iraqi women from U.S. custody could help. Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali Kamal, head of intelligence at the Iraqi Interior Ministry, said intensive efforts are underway to release Carroll, who was abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad.

"Any announcement may not benefit the case because of its sensitivity, but we can say, God willing, that she will be released," Kamal told The Associated Press.

Carroll's kidnappers have threatened to kill the freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor unless all Iraqi women prisoners were freed. At least four women remain in custody.

The U.S. military released five Iraqi women detainees Thursday, but an official said the release was routine and not part of a possible swap for Carroll.

But Kamal hoped their release of the women may help Carroll's cause. "The release of the five Iraqi women might assist in releasing Carol," he said, reports the AP.


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