Journalist Jill Carroll Freed in Baghdad

July 7, 2008 - 8:22 PM

(CNSNews.com) - American freelance journalist Jill Carroll was freed in Iraq Thursday, almost three months after she was abducted. She appeared healthy and said she was treated very well in captivity.

Jill was still dressed in Muslim garb when she made her first comments about her experience on Baghdad television.

She said she has no idea why she was kidnapped. Her captors dropped her off near the offices of the Iraqi (Sunni) Islamic Party on Thursday.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad refused to say whether military or diplomatic moves resulted in Jill's release.

Jill's family, in a statement, asked the media to respect their privacy: "When we feel the time is appropriate, we will release more details about her experience."

Jill, 28, had been freelancing for the Christian Science Monitor when she was abducted on Jan. 7. Her translator was killed in the ambush. Jill's captors demanded the release of Iraqi women prisoners in exchange for her freedom.

Her release came one day after her identical twin sister Katie appeared on the Arab TV station Al Arabiya, making a direct appeal for information that could lead to Jill's release.

On Thursday, Jill's family released a statement saying their hearts are full: "We would like to thank all the generous people around the world who worked officially or unofficially, especially those who took personal risks to gain Jill's release."

Jill's family also thanked the Iraqi people for their support and "deep compassion for Jill's situation."

Nate Talbot, chairman of Christian Science Monitor Board of Directors, said the prayers, pleas, messages of support and tears of concern for Jill Carroll have been "uncountable."

"We hope and trust in the power of Divine Grace, that continued prayer and political and diplomatic efforts, somehow moved by this profound mental and spiritual force, will help eradicate the whole plague of kidnapping and terrorism, of violent action and reaction.

"The people of a region known as the cradle of civilization have rights beyond the human and political to enjoy the blessings of a civil and calm society."