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Journalist kidnapped

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has expressed concern about Iraqi journalist, Hossam Daoud Lazim, who has been kidnapped in Kirkuk. "We urge the authorities to deploy all the means necessary to find the journalist safe and sound", the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Four armed men in civilian clothes snatched the 22-year-old journalist from outside his home in the Nasr district in the east of Kirkuk, 255 kilometres north of Baghdad, at around 1 p.m. (local time) on 17 February 2010.

He works for the satellite TV channel al-'Ahad (the Promise), and for the newspaper "al-Nassar", two media outlets controlled by supporters of the Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr.

His brother told AFP that he had received a text message from Hossam, who said he had been abducted but did not know who was behind the kidnapping. "We immediately alerted the security forces so that they could open an investigation," his brother said.

It is not yet known if the kidnapping was linked to the journalist's work or if it was for political, religious or criminal motives.

There has been an upsurge in violent attacks against journalists in the run-up to legislative elections in March.
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