Jun 20, 2009

Reporters escape Taliban kidnappers

David Rohde, an investigative reporter for the New York Times, and local reporter Tahir Ludin escaped their Taliban kidnappers Friday after seven months in captivity in the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The New York Times and other media outlets had kept the story of the kidnappings under wraps "out of concern for the men's safety."

The New York Times reports:
Mr. Rohde, 41, had traveled to Afghanistan in early November to work on a book about the history of American involvement there when he was invited to interview a Taliban commander in Logar Province outside Kabul. Mr. Rohde, who years before had been taken prisoner while reporting in Bosnia, had instructed The Times’s bureau in Kabul about whom to notify if he did not return. He also indicated that he believed that the interview was important and that he would be all right.

His father, Harvey Rohde, said that while he regretted that his son had made the trip, he understood his motivation, “to get both sides of the story, to have his book honestly portray not just the one side but the other side as well.”
In 1996, while working for the Christian Science Monitor, Rohde was imprisoned and interrogated by Bosnian Serbs after he snuck into Serb territory to find evidence of mass graves in the Bosnian conflict.

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