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Kidnapped Journalist With Triangle Connection Freed From Iraqi Captors

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Held captive in Iraq for more than three months, a journalist with Triangle ties is alive and well -- and now, free.

"I don't know what happened," Jill Carroll said during an interview on Iraqi television. "They just came to me and said, 'We're letting you go.'"

Carroll, whose father lives in Chapel Hill, was kidnapped on Jan. 7 by a group that demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraq. If not, they claimed, Carroll would be killed.

"It was very difficult," Carroll said about the ordeal. "I didn't know what would happen to me."

Despite her captors' claims, Carroll said she was never abused.

After being a prisoner for nearly 11 weeks, more than 2,000 hours in captivity, Carroll, a freelance journalist working for The Christian Science Monitor, was set free.

For her father, Jim Carroll, it was quite a wakeup call, he told reporters outside his Chapel Hill home Thursday morning.

"I got the call a little bit before 6," he said. "Jill called me directly. ... She's doing very well, and I was glad to see her on TV this morning. She's in good health and mentally, strong. We're pleased about that."

Still separated by an ocean, with no timetable on when he will actually be able to wrap his arms around his daughter, the news of her release has brought them closer than his family has been in months.

"It was a fantastic conversation, obviously. We're feeling ecstatic," Jim Carroll said. "It's been a long haul and we're done with that now."

 Credits

Dan Bowens, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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