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Sudanese Newspaper Editor Found Dead After Kidnapping


Officials in Sudan say the editor of an independent newspaper has been found dead, one day after he was kidnapped from his home.

Police say Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed was found decapitated on a Khartoum street Wednesday, a day after a group of armed men grabbed him and sped away in a car.

Ahmed was editor of the Khartoum newspaper al-Wifaq. Last year, Islamic radicals called for him to be killed after he published articles that questioned the parentage of the Prophet Muhammad.

A media rights group expressed horror at the murder and urged the government to find the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, a U.S. governor from the southwestern state of New Mexico said he will travel to Sudan on Thursday to seek the release of an American journalist who was arrested last month and charged with espionage.

Bill Richardson's office said in a statement that he will meet personally with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to press for release of journalist Paul Salopek.

Salopek and his wife live in New Mexico when he is not on assignment.

Salopek is a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He was on assignment for National Geographic magazine in the troubled Darfur region when he was arrested with his Chadian driver and interpreter last month.

Richardson's office said he has had a "long-term relationship" with the Sudanese president. In 1996, Richardson successfully negotiated the release of New Mexican pilot John Early, and two Red Cross workers after they were held by Sudanese rebels for 38 days.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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