Iraqi official: Reporter who hurled shoes at Bush detained

A reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush was being held for questioning by the Iraqi prime minister's guards, an Iraqi official said Monday, as Arabs across the Middle East hailed the incident as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president. Muntadar al-Zeidi was being interrogated over whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a press conference Sunday in Baghdad and was being tested for alcohol and drugs, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Al-Zeidi's colleagues said the journalist was kidnapped last year by Shiite militias and released after his TV station, Al-Baghdadia, intervened. The Shiite journalist, who is in his late 20s, was being held at the headquarters of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said the official. His shoes were being held as evidence, he added. Al-Baghdadia repeatedly aired pleas to release al-Zeidi on Monday, while showing footage of explosions and playing background music that denounced the US in Iraq.