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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Briton held by US troops in Iraq
Michael Todd
York man Michael Todd with a picture of his daughter Sajida
A British man who travelled to Iraq as war broke out to look for his young daughter has been held by American troops there for over a fortnight.

Michael Todd, from York, revealed earlier this year he was determind to travel to Baghdad to find 19-month-old Sajida, who he has never seen.

The 33-year-old street performer said Sajida was born out of his relationship with her mother, Abla, 32, when she was a student in Leeds in 2000.

The Foreign Office says Mr Todd was arrested by US forces in the northern Iraqi town of Sulaymaniyah on 4 July.

A spokeswoman said there were no details about why Mr Todd was detained.

She said: "I can confirm that US forces in Sulaymaniyah, in northern Iraq, detained a British man, Michael Todd, on 4 July.

"He was transferred to Baghdad on 5 July.

"We are in contact with the US forces about his detention."

'Don't kill my daughter'

Map of journey
Mr Todd travelled from York to Iraq searching for his daughter
In February Mr Todd clutched a photograph of Sajida with the caption "don't kill my daughter" written in Arabic by her mother as he described his fears for her.

He said Abla disappeared from Leeds soon after she discovered she was pregnant, despite the couple's plans to marry.

Once back in Iraq, Abla contacted Mr Todd through her sister, giving details about baby Sajida.

Last month Mr Todd turned up in Turkey when he told reporters Abla had been killed in the Allied bombing of the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

But he said the Turkish government had allowed him to cross into northern Iraq and he was determined to continue his quest.

Nothing was then heard from Mr Todd until he turned up in American custody.

Iraq mission to find daughter
25 Feb 03  |  England

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