U.S. television network CBS says two of its journalists have gone missing in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
In a brief statement Monday, CBS says efforts are under way to find the journalists, whose names were not released. The network says it has been in touch with the journalists' families and asked that their privacy be respected.
Reports from Basra quote witnesses as saying about eight gunmen kidnapped the CBS journalists today from the city's Sultan Palace Hotel.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says it is deeply concerned about the safety of the missing pair. The group expressed hope that the journalists are located swiftly and are able to resume their work covering what it calls a critical story in Iraq.
CPJ executive director Joel Simon says Iraq is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists and the deadliest conflict for the press in recent history.
The British military transferred security responsibility for Basra to Iraqi authorities last December. But British forces maintain a base near the predominantly Shi'ite city.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.