Three US journalists missing in Iraq

Three US journalists missing in Iraq

1st April 2003 Credit: ABC News

An American journalist who was former Vice President Al Gore's photographer is missing in Iraq along with two other US journalists taken from their Baghdad hotel, the photographer's family said on Monday.

Molly Bingham, who was Mr Gore's photographer during his failed presidential bid against President George W Bush in 2000, was taken by Iraqi police from her room in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad last Tuesday, her cousin, Clara Bingham, said.

"They searched her room, packed up all her belongings and they took her away," Ms Bingham in said an interview with US ABC TV's Good Morning America program.

Ms Bingham said the family feared 34-year-old Molly Bingham was taken because she had worked as Mr Gore's official photographer and that Iraq believed she was a spy.

"We are really frantic at this stage," Clara Bingham said.

She said her cousin, who was freelancing in Baghdad, had been detained by Iraqi authorities for four hours the previous Saturday and had called her sister after the questioning to say she was safe.

She also had emailed her parents.

Two other journalists working for New York's Newsday newspaper also disappeared last Tuesday from the Palestine Hotel and are still missing, managing editor Charlotte Hall said on the same show.

Ms Hall said she had last heard from 33-year-old Matthew McAllester and photographer 29-year-old Moises Saman, a week ago.

She said the paper had been in contact with the Iraqi delegation at the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Papal Nuncio but had not heard anything of the journalists' whereabouts. Newsday is one of the largest daily newspapers in the United States, serving Long Island and New York.