Monday, February 11, 2008

British photog kidnapped in Basra identified.

Somebody needs to put the hammer down in Basra.

A British photographer employed by the US television network, CBS, and other news outlets has been kidnapped in Iraq.

Richard Butler, a British photojournalist employed by the network was kidnapped in the southern city of Basra on Sunday, a police source told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency on Monday.

Butler was reportedly in the Qasr al-Sultan hotel in Basra, when a group of armed men forced him and his translator inside a car and took them to an unknown location.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

The oil-rich port city of Basra lies almost 600 kilometres south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Richard Butler is a veteran journalist who has covered conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

According to his personal website, Butler was one of the few freelance photographers inside Baghdad to photograph its fall in March 2003. Four months later he went to Liberia to cover the civil war.

He has been employed on assignment for the US magazine, Newsweek, in Afghanistan, searching for al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden with US forces, and worked in Sudan following rebels from the Sudanese Liberation Army.

His work has been featured extensively in US publications such as Time magazine and The New York Times, as well as British publications like The Sunday Telegraph and The Financial Times as well as Paris Match in France.