Kidnap fears for reporters in Iraq
THREE Romanian journalists have gone missing in Iraq and authorities believe they may have been kidnapped.
The journalists, who went missing yesterday, are reporter Marie Jeanne Ion and cameraman Sorin Dumitru Miscoci from Bucharest-based television station Prima TV and daily Romania Libera reporter Ovidiu Ohanesian.
They went missing shortly after an interview with interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the newspaper’s director Petre Mihai Bacanu said.
Romania’s President Traian Basescu, who was in Iraq and Afghanistan for two days visiting Romanian troops, said upon returning to Bucharest today that his government was doing all it could to find the journalists. Basescu said Romania had sought the help of US-led coalition authorities in Iraq.
Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said it was unclear what happened to the trio, and that no one has contacted Romanian authorities demanding a ransom.
Romania has about 800 troops in Iraq and about 500 in Afghanistan.
The suspected kidnapping came as wrangling continued in Iraq’s new parliament with politicians yet to pick a speaker.
A meeting late yesterday between Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni representatives failed to come up with a name for the Sunni Arab candidate that legislators promised would be announced during today’s session.
Today was relatively quiet in Baghdad, where officials had warned residents to prepare for stepped up insurgent attacks. During the first National Assembly meeting, on March 16, militants lobbed mortar rounds at the heavily fortified Green Zone in the city’s centre, where politicians held their meeting.
The Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance and the Kurdish coalition, which came first and second in the landmark, January 30 elections, have reached out to the Sunnis and to members of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s coalition, hoping to cobble together an inclusive national unity government.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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