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April 7, 2003
 
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Two Polish Journalists Abducted in Iraq
Two Polish Journalists Abducted by Armed Men in Iraq, Editors Say

The Associated Press


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WARSAW, Poland April 7

Armed Iraqis abducted two Polish reporters at a checkpoint some 80 miles south of Baghdad on Monday, their editors said.

Marcin Firlej, 27, a reporter for the private TVN24 news channel, and 31-year-old Jacek Kaczmarek, with Polish state radio, had set off from the town of Nasiriyah with a larger group of journalists, TVN24 editor Malgorzata Laszcz said.

They were stopped at a checkpoint near Hillah.

TVN24 reporter Marcin Woroch, who was in another car in the same convoy, said the group was driving toward Karbala and came across the checkpoint after leaving the highway. They saw "five or six armed men, some still in military uniforms, some in black," Woroch said in a report aired by his channel.

"Nobody could have expected such a situation, and also the Americans were telling us that nothing could threaten us here," Woroch reported. The remaining cars backed away from the checkpoint after the two men were taken, TVN24 said.

Marek Lipinski, a spokesman for Polish state radio, confirmed that Kaczmarek who was based in Kuwait but reporting in Iraq was stopped with Firlej.

Both men carried accreditations issued by the U.S. military. Laszcz said Firlej and the TVN24 crew were originally assigned to a U.S. unit, but they left it on Friday and started traveling independently together with another crew from parent company TVN.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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