NYT Reporter Escapes Taliban After 7 Months

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2009 11:58 AM CDT
NYT Reporter Escapes Taliban After 7 Months
The New York Times headquarters.   (AP Photo)

A reporter for the New York Times held by the Taliban for 7 months in the tribal regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan has escaped, the paper says. The Times kept David Rohde’s abduction secret out of concern for his safety and had been in sporadic contact with him and his captors. Last night, he and a local reporter climbed over the wall of the compound where they were held and were helped to safety by a Pakistani soldier.

“They just walked over the wall of the compound,” said Rohde’s wife. They were airlifted to the US’ Bagram base near Kabul. Rohde, 41, won a Pulitzer while in captivity for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan last year. He was taken while traveling to interview a Taliban leader. In the mid-1990s, Rohde became the first Western journalist to travel to Bosnian Serb territory to investigate mass graves. Authorities imprisoned him for 10 days. (More Taliban stories.)

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