BAGHDAD, Iraq — A U.S. Muslim group appealed Saturday for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll as a deadline set by kidnappers passed with no word on her fate. . .

Two members of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations flew to Baghdad on Saturday to seek the release of Carroll, a 28-year-old freelancer for the Christian Science Monitor abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad.

“We are the only people who have come from outside of Iraq to call for Jill’s release, and we are very hopeful they will hear our message on behalf of American Muslims,” the group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said at Baghdad International Airport.

“Harming her will do them no good at all. The only way is to release her,” he said.

The delegation had hoped to meet with Iraqi Muslims to explore ways to win the journalist’s freedom.

But the representatives were unable to obtain safe transport into the city and instead spoke by telephone with Iraqi figures.

They planned to return to neighboring Jordan today, but a sandstorm threatened to stop all flights and leave them stranded.


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