At least three Americans were kidnapped by militants in southern Baghdad on Saturday, according to several American and Iraqi news outlets. An unnamed official of the city’s police force confirmed the group’s disappearance to The Washington Post on Sunday evening, but their precise identities, and why exactly they were kidnapped, were initially unclear:
After convincing his wife and fellow journalist to join him in Baghdad to cover the war, Times writer Damien Cave discovered that theirs was not the ideal situation in which to work out relationship issues. Theirs is a story of two communicators, a writer and a videographer, learning to communicate with each other during wartime. The troubles seems to be these: Mr. Cave was acting like a husband, Mrs. Cave was acting like a wife, while they were both trying to be act professionally while soldiers, friends and assorted other people were constantly being blown up all around them. Cave has found his closure in the pages of the Times style section and also the makings of a topical, romantically-charged dramedy starring, obviously, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. [New York Times]
Today the Army Times runs the conclusion of Kelly Kennedy's 4-part, more than 14,000-word story on the 15-month tour of duty of a single Army company. In August, 2006, Task Force 1-26, with 823 soldiers, was deployed to Baghdad. According to the Army, they reduced murders from "ten a day to less than two a day" in Adhamiyah, which is in north-eastern Baghdad. But over those 15 months, 31 of the Task Force would be killed—14 of them from the 190-member Charlie Company alone—and 122 of them would be wounded.
The New York Times listed in-house two openings for the Baghdad bureau yesterday, in expectation of the return of "many" reporters this spring, according to the posting from foreign editor Susan Chira. Back in April, 2006, the paper similarly advertised two openings in Baghdad; five applicants applied. (Think they'll get that many this time?) That summer, Paul von Zielbauer, Damien Cave and Marc Santora shipped off to Iraq; Zielbauer returned to the U.S. a few months later, while the other two remain. Reporters live together in a compound and work closely—so maybe Mary-Kate should bring Ashley! The listing follows.