Irish Guardian journalist reported missing in Iraq

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 Rory Carroll, an Irish citizen working in Iraq for the Guardian newspaper, has been reported missing, amid fears that he has been kidnapped.

33-year-old Carroll had been in Iraq for nine months, having previously worked as the Guardian's Africa correspondent. While in that post he wrote a series of groundbreaking stories, including an exposé of an alleged coup plot by British and South African mercenaries against the government of Equatorial Guinea.

Last month, Carroll wrote an article focussing on the dangers faced by his colleagues in Iraq, particularly local journalists. Earlier this week he penned a report highlighting claims that a US air strike had killed "dozens of women and children". The left-leaning Guardian newspaper, which opposed the Iraq war and has been critical of the British and US-led occupation, is urgently seeking confirmation of Carroll's whereabouts.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has called for Carroll's immediate release:

"We are deeply concerned about the safety of our colleague Rory Carroll, an independent journalist who has covered all aspects of the conflict in Iraq," the CPJ's Executive Director Ann Cooper said in a statement.

According to the CPJ, 34 journalists have been kidnapped in Iraq since April 2004, with all but six being released unharmed.

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