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Three Malaysian journalists kidnapped in Iraq released

Gunmen had ambushed and kidnapped the three journalists in Baghdad, killing their interpreter.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2003 15:17 IST

Gunmen ambushed and kidnapped three Malaysian journalists in Baghdad, killing their Iraqi interpreter and injuring two Malaysian relief workers, officials on Sunday said. The journalists were later released unharmed.

The Malaysians were attacked while travelling in two vans on Saturday from the Sheraton Hotel in the Iraqi capital to a hospital, said Acting Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The journalists were part of a 28-member group that left for Iraq last week. They were funded by the Malaysian government, which accused Western news organisations of biased reporting in Iraq and entrusted the Malaysian team with providing balanced coverage of the war.

Abdullah said an Iraqi man hired as an interpreter was killed. Two doctors who have been helping to treat Iraqis - Jemilah Mah mood, president of the Malaysian Medical Relief Society, and Baba Deani - were wounded, but were recovering in a hospital.

Three people were abducted - Terence Fernandez, a reporter for The Sun newspaper, Anuar Hashim, a New Straits Times photographer, and Omar Salleh, a cameraman with the state-run Radio Television Malaysia, Abdullah told reporters.

The journalists were later released unharmed and were sent to a Baghdad hospital, Zukri Valenteno Ali, a spokesman for the Malaysian media team in Iraq, was quoted as saying by the national news agency Bernama. No other details were immediately available.

First Published: Apr 13, 2003 15:10 IST