BAGHDAD -- Iraq's state television has begun broadcasting ads appealing for the release of kidnapped US journalist Jill Carroll, including footage of her mother and a major Sunni Arab politician describing the 28-year-old freelancer as a friend of Iraq.
Carroll, who reported from Iraq for the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped Jan. 7 in Baghdad while on her way from the office of Sunni politician Adnan al-Dulaimi.
The one-minute television appeal begins with two photographs of a smiling Carroll appearing on the screen.
''The kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll loves Iraq and she now needs your help," a male narrator says. ''It's time for Jill Carroll to go home safely."
The appeal later shows archival footage of Dulaimi addressing a news conference.
''I appeal to those who kidnapped the American journalist Jill Carroll to release her. She is a woman who struggled for the sake of Iraq, defended Iraq and Iraqis," he said.
Mary Beth Carroll, the journalist's mother, spoke in English with an Arabic voice-over.
''I, Jill's father and sister directly appeal to Jill's kidnappers to free her, that young woman who worked hard to publicize the suffering of Iraqis," she said.
The spots, which were produced by Monitor staff in Iraq with assistance from CNN, began running Tuesday night, said David Cook, Washington bureau chief of the Monitor. They were financed by donations and were being aired free of charge on state-run Iraqiya TV.
Carroll's kidnappers have set a new deadline of Feb. 26 for their demands to be met or they said they would kill her, according to the owner of a Kuwaiti television station that aired the latest videotape of her on Friday.