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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 March, 2005, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Three Romanians missing in Iraq
Missing Romanians Ohanesian (left), Ion and Miscoci
The Romanians called to say they had been abducted
Three Romanian journalists are missing, feared kidnapped, in Iraq.

Romanian President Traian Basescu said Bucharest had alerted the intelligence services of its allies to help investigate their disappearance.

He was speaking after a brief visit to Iraq, where Romania has about 800 troops serving in the US-led coalition.

The news director of Romania's Prima TV channel, where two of the journalists worked, said they had contacted the station to say they had been abducted.

The missing journalists were named as Marie Jeanne Ion and cameraman Sorin Dumitru Miscoci of Prima TV and Ovidiu Ohanesian of Romania Libera newspaper.

Romanian President Traian Basescu (right) meets Romanian troops in Iraq, 28 Mar 05
President Basescu (right) visited Romanian troops in Iraq on Monday

Prima TV news director Dan Dumitru said his channel had received a telephone call on Monday, during which they "heard voices speaking Arabic, as well as journalist Ion calling out in English: 'Don't kill us, we are journalists, we don't have any money'."

Shortly after they received a text message saying "We have been kidnapped. This is not a joke. Help us," the Romanian news agency Mediafax reported.

The Romanians disappeared from a suburb of Baghdad on Monday evening.

They had earlier interviewed interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Romania Libera director Petre Mihai Bacanu said.

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