Al-Sadr group "reaches" deal for release of missing CBS reporters

Other News Materials 13 February 2008 15:47 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - A Shiite group loyal to radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in the southern Iraqi city of Basra said Wednesday it has reached a deal for the release of a missing British journalist and his Iraqi interpreter, sources close to the group told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

"Negotiations have been done and good results achieved. We are on the way to receive without a ransom the British journalist and the Iraqi interpreter," the sources said.

Joint British-Iraqi forces launched search operations Tuesday in villages on the outskirts of Basra for the missing reporter and interpreter.

US television network CBS announced Monday that the two reporters working for CBS News in Basra were missing.

The network did not name the reporters and said efforts were underway to find them.

"CBS News has been in touch with the families and asks that their privacy be respected," a network's spokeswoman said.

Last year, 47 journalists and nine media assistants were killed in Iraq, according to the Reporters Sans Frontieres press freedom group.