Home>News Center>World

Indonesia says 2 journalists seized in Iraq
Updated: 2005-02-18 15:07

Two Indonesian television journalists have been seized by Iraqi militants in the western city of Ramadi, an Iraqi guerrilla stronghold, a government spokesman in Jakarta said on Friday.

"We have received information ... from the owner of a car rented by two journalists from Metro TV that on February 15, their vehicle heading for Ramadi was halted by an armed group," foreign affairs spokesman Marty Natalegawa told reporters.

"The car, driver and the two journalists have been taken to an unknown location. However, I will not use the word abduction yet," he told a news conference.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has been a staunch critic of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Natalegawa said his office had been told by Metro TV, Indonesia's only 24-hour news broadcaster, that the journalists were in Iraq but had not contacted their employer recently.

"They said there were two staff assigned (in Iraq) whose whereabouts are now unknown," he said.

Natalegawa did not give the names of the journalists.

Last October, the rebel Islamic Army in Iraq kidnapped two Indonesian women working as maids before releasing them several days later.

An Indonesian engineer was shot dead in an ambush in the northern Iraq city of Mosul last August.

It is unclear how many Indonesians are working in Iraq, but there are believed to be fewer than nationals from other Asian countries such as the Philippines and India.

The militant Islamic Army in Iraq has previously demanded Indonesia's government free Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who is facing trial in Indonesia on terrorism charges relating to deadly bombings in 2002 and 2003.

The journalists had rented a car from Amman, Natalegawa said. The car company reported a Jordanian driver had spoken to witnesses who saw the car being taken, he said.

Indonesia had sent an envoy to Ramadi to try to confirm the report, he said.

"We want to ascertain first ... whether this is an abduction. We want to concentrate on the truth of this report," he said.

"The (witnesses) said they saw the vehicle entering Ramadi around 1 p.m. It was stopped and taken away," he said.

  Today's Top News     Top World News

Middle class society? It's still a long way off in China



Official plans DPRK visit on nuclear impasse



US official says China's future crucial



Project aims to revitalize Silk Road trade ties



Expert: China overtakes US as top consumer



Chinese teenage girl, naked, killed in Malaysia


  Negroponte selected as US intelligence chief
  Iran urges alliance against U.S. plots
  Bush demands Syria withdraw forces from Lebanon
  Israel halts razing of Palestinian homes
  Iraq's Shi'ites win slim majority in assembly
  Darfur foes pledge talks as Annan slams war hell
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Kidnapped Italian reporter shown on tape
Female journalist kidnapped in Baghdad
Eight Chinese nationals kidnapped in Iraq
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?