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Iraq Transition

U.S. freelance journalist slain in Iraq

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Vincent in an undated photograph

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Iraq
Steven Vincent

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An American freelance journalist was found shot to death in the Iraqi city of Basra early Wednesday, officials said.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman confirmed Steven Vincent's body was found, and that his family has been notified.

A Western official said Vincent suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He had been abducted earlier by unknown gunmen.

A Basra police official said Vincent and his female interpreter, Nuriya Tiays, were abducted about 12:30 a.m. (4:30 p.m. Tuesday) in the Ashar area of central Basra.

Vincent's body was found about a 10-minute drive from where the abduction took place, the official said. Tiays suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was being treated in a hospital.

Vincent was in Basra writing a book about the history of the city. He also maintained a Web blog about life in Iraq, and most recently had an op-ed piece in The New York Times on Sunday.

According to the Web site of his publishing company, Vincent's work appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Harper's, The Christian Science Monitor, Art and Auction, and National Review Online, along with other art and political journals. He was a resident of New York for 25 years, the site said.

Vincent was an eyewitness to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and traveled twice to Iraq afterward, paying his own way and "traveling without security or official connections, living by his wits," according to the Spence Publishing site.

The result was his book, "In the Red Zone: A Journey into the Soul of Iraq," published late last year. Vincent dedicated the book to those who lost their lives in the attacks.

"I stood that morning on the roof of my building in lower Manhattan and watched United Airlines Flight 175 strike the south tower of the World Trade Center," Vincent said in a December 2004 interview with Frontpage Magazine.

"At that moment, I realized my country was at war -- because of the 1993 attack on the Trade Center, I figured our enemy was Islamic terrorism -- and I wanted to do my part in the conflict. I'm too old to enlist in the armed services, so I decided to put my writing talents to use."

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