Monday, June 22, 2009

American Reporter Escapes from Taliban

New York Times reporter David Rohde, kidnapped in Afghanistan in November 2008, has managed to escape his captors along with an Afghan journalist. Via CNN:
(CNN) -- A New York Times reporter who was held by the Taliban for seven months has escaped, the newspaper reported Saturday.

David Rohde told his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, that he and a local reporter, Tahir Ludin, climbed over the wall of a compound late Friday where they were being held in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan.

Pakistani military spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas told CNN that the Pakistani military was involved in freeing Rohde. Additional details were not immediately available.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement expressing her relief about Rohde's "return to freedom."

"I would like to thank the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan for their assistance in ensuring his safe return," Clinton said. "Journalists put themselves at risk every day to report the news in regions gripped by conflict. We rely on their vital role and I am grateful for their service." Video Watch CNN's Nic Robertson report on the escape »

Rohde, Ludin and their driver were kidnapped outside of Kabul, Afghanistan, on November 10, and Afghan and Western officials said recently that Rohde was being held in Pakistan.

After leaving the compound Friday night, the two men then found a Pakistani army scout who led them to a nearby army base. On Saturday, they were flown to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

This is wonderful news and we thank God for this successful escape. Back in November when we first reported on this abduction we were asked by the Times to delete any references to Mr. Rohde out of concern for his safety, and while we were happy to comply with their wishes, we had not stopped praying for him even though we did not mention his name. This should be an encouragement to us that when we pray for those known only to God, that He does indeed see them and hear our prayers.

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