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CBS CREW FREED IN BAGHDAD; GORBACHEV LAUDED

CBS correspondent Bob Simon and three technical crew members captured by Iraqi troops Jan. 21 close to the Saudi-Kuwait border were freed in Baghdad Saturday and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was given special praise for his involvement. President Gorbachev, after receiving a personal letter from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, ordered the Soviet ambassador in Baghdad ``to personally go to [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein in his office and demand immediate release of these people,'' said Soviet envoy Sergei Grigoriev.

CBS president Laurence Tisch said in a statement: ``We are particularly indebted to President Gorbachev and the USSR for the deep personnel interest they took in this matter, and for their direct efforts on behalf of our journalists....''

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Simon, CBS London bureau chief Peter Bluff, freelance cameraman Roberto Alvarez, and freelance soundman Juan Caldera disappeared while filming close to the border with Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.