(Jill and her sister, Katie: photos from The Christian Science Monitor)
Incredible news!!!! We will be hearing about this for a long, long time. I am posting all of Natasha's blog on this happy day!
from Jill's friend Natasha
March 30, 2006
Jill is released!!
We have received word that Jill has been released. The Italian News Agency, ANSA (in Italian), which Jill used to work for, is reporting that Jill was released about one hour ago (here "roughly" translated from the Italian), that's around 5:00 am EST. The news is now percolating down into the news agencies. We are making contacts and verifying this information. More updates will come as we know them.
UPDATE: We now have confirmation of this release from the Christian Science Monitor team. We are both still stunned by this tremendous news. All the prayers and good wishes have been answered. We are simply overwhelmed by this amazing, fantastic, tremendously wonderful news!!
UPDATE 2: The US Embassy in Baghdad has been unable to confirm her release but the CSM is reporting that she has talked to her family, confirming her release: "She was released this morning, she’s talked to her father and she’s fine," said David Cook, Washington bureau chief of The Christian Science Monitor.
UPDATE 3: The US military cannot confirm that Jill is inside Baghdad's noted "Green zone," the protected inner sanctum, or at least they are hesitant to say anything until they can confirm she is safe and protected. It is notable that she is reported to have been "released" but not "rescued," meaning a group -- the group -- decided to release her. Was it Katie's statement? Who knows, but the timing seems to suggest as much. Meanwhile, the phone is ringing off the hook with interview requests. Everyone is just overwhelmed as we do our best to get our head around all of this. To all of you calling us, we'd really like for the family to be given a chance to digest this and to make an official statement. As for us, we are absolutely overwhelmed, ecstatic ... over the moon with joy!
UPDATE 4: Word is now that Jill is inside the Green Zone and is being given a health checkup. Jill has apparently made a statement saying she was unsure why she was abducted but that she was treated well by her captors. The State Department is now weighing in, confirming her release, with a spokesperson saying: "I can confirm her release. This is great news...we are very pleased." Jill was handed over to the Iraqi Islamic Party office in Amiriya, western Baghdad, by an unknown group, "She is healthy and we handed her over to the Americans," Nasir al-Ani, a party member, told The Associated Press. Shout it from the rooftops: Jill is FREE!!
UPDATE 5: Jill's father appeared on NBC News and made a statement: "We are thrilled and relieved at the safe return of my daughter," he said on the "Today" show. "We want to thank the thousands of people that prayed and especially the people at The Christian Science Monitor who did so much to keep her alive."
UPDATE 7: Jill's family has released a wonderful statement following Jill's release:
Our hearts are full. We are elated by Jill's safe release. We would like to thank all of the generous people around the world who worked officially or unofficially, especially those who took personal risks, to gain Jill's release. We are also very grateful for the support of the Iraqi people, who have shown the world a deep compassion for Jill's situation, and members of the press in Baghdad.
Finally, we cannot say enough about the outstanding staff at The Christian Science Monitor, who provided us information and emotional support from the very start of this harrowing experience.
Our priority now, of course, is helping Jill to recover from her ordeal. We ask that the media respect our privacy and desire to focus on Jill's well-being. When we feel the time is appropriate, we will release more details about her experience. Finally, our thoughts are with the families of others still being held hostage in Iraq, and we hope that their loved ones will soon return safely to them.
~ Katie, Jim, Mary Beth -- and Jill -- Carroll
Posted by Natasha at 06:25 AM in Jill Carroll Permalink Comments (10) TrackBack (0) Email this post
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