- The Washington Times - Monday, April 14, 2008

BAGHDAD (AP) — A kidnapped British journalist was rescued by Iraqi troops today after two months in captivity in the southern city of Basra, a military commander said.

Richard Butler, who worked for CBS News, was found with a sack over his head and his hands tied inside a house in Basra, Lt. Gen. Mohan al-Fireji said. He said Butler was in good condition.

Butler was kidnapped along with his Iraqi interpreter on Feb. 10 in Basra. The interpreter was later released. Iraqi police and witnesses said the two men were seized by about eight masked gunmen wielding machine guns who stormed a hotel in the city.

CBS confirmed the journalist’s identity but did not immediately provide other details.

Video: Iraqis rescue kidnapped journalist

Butler was found during an Iraqi military operation in the Jibiliya area, a Shi’ite militia stronghold in Basra, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.

The Iraqis launched a crackdown last month against Shi’ite militias in the city.

In recent days, Iraqi forces have started house-to-house searches for arms, weapons, drugs and criminal elements in several parts of the city. The military said it has uncovered an improvised explosive device factory, along with significant arms caches and numerous roadside bombs, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

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