NYT reporter flees seven-month Taliban captivity

June 21st, 2009 - 12:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban New York, June 21 (ANI): A US journalist kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan last year has managed to escape from the compound where he was being held, The New York Times reports.

David Rohde, a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban, escaped Friday night and made his way to freedom after more than seven months of captivity in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The newspaper says its reporter scaled the wall of the compound with an Afghan journalist.

Rohde, along with a local reporter, Tahir Ludin, and their driver, Asadullah Mangal, was abducted outside Kabul, Afghanistan, on November 10, 2008 while he was researching on a book.

Rohde was part of The Times’s reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize this spring for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan last year.

Rohde told his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, that Ludin joined him in climbing over the wall of a compound where they were being held in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. They made their way to a nearby Pakistani Frontier Corps base and on Saturday they were flown to the US military base in Bagram, Afghanistan.

The driver, Mangal, did not escape with the other two men. The initial report was that Rohde was in good health, while Ludin injured his foot in the escape, The New York Times reports.

Until now, The NYT and other media organizations out of concern for the men’s safety have kept the kidnapping quiet.

Rohde’s keen interest in Afghanistan was ignited in the intense three months he spent there after the September 11, 2001, attacks, and cemented during his tenure as co-chief of The Times’s South Asia bureau from 2002 to 2005.

He continued to travel to Afghanistan after he returned to New York, where he is a member of The Times’s investigations department. (ANI)

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