Iraqi AP reporter reportedly hijacked in Baqouba

An Iraqi journalist working for The Associated Press has been missing for more than a week, and relatives and a witness say he was taken prisoner by masked gunmen while traveling to Baghdad. Talal Mohammed, who contributed both news and photos to the AP, disappeared as he traveled from Baqouba, where he worked, to the Iraqi capital 56 kilometers to the southwest, according to members of his family. He went missing on July 28 and had not been heard from as of Tuesday. Mohammed, 40, was with a neighborhood friend aboard a bus when both were kidnapped at an illegal checkpoint not far from Baqouba in a region that is a stronghold of Sunni Muslim fighters allied with al-Qaida in Iraq, said the relatives, who asked not to be identified for their own safety. They said they got the information from Mohammed's traveling companion who was later released and also asked that his name not be used.