NYT journalist David Rhode freed after seven months as hostage of Taliban

June 21st, 2009 - 2:24 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

NYT David Rhode taliban David Rohde, a The 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

Mr. Rohde, along with local reporter Tahir Ludin and their driver were abducted outside Kabul, Afghanistan, on November 10 while he was researching a book about the history of American involvement there.

Mr. Rohde told his wife that, Kristen Mulvihill, Ludin and he had climbed over the wall of a compound where they were being held in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan.

They found a Pakistani Army scout, who led them to a nearby army base, and on Saturday they were flown to the American military base in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Until now the kidnapping has been kept quiet by The Times and other media organizations out of concern for the men’s safety.

Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, said, “From the early days of this ordeal, the prevailing view among David’s family, experts in kidnapping cases, officials of several government and others we consulted was that going public could increase the danger to David and the other hostages,”

“The kidnappers initially said as much. We decided to respect that advice, as we have in other kidnapping cases, and a number of other news organizations that learned of David’s plight have done the same. We are enormously grateful for their support.”

Mulvihill said, “The family is so grateful to everyone who has helped – The New York Times, the US government, all the others. We’ve been married nine months and seven of those, David has been in captivity.”

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