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Ear to the Ground

2 Kidnapped Reporters Escape the Taliban

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Posted on Jun 22, 2009
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AP photo / Rahim Faiez, Charles Krupa

The two reporters: Tahir Ludin, left, at his home on Monday, and David Rohde in a 1995 photo.

After being held captive by the Taliban for more than seven months, Tahir Ludin, an Afghan journalist, and David Rohde, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from The New York Times, escaped their kidnappers. The two reporters spoke to journalists on Sunday about their ordeal.

The New York Times:

An Afghan journalist who was held captive by the Taliban for more than seven months along with a New York Times reporter revealed details on Sunday of a nighttime escape that included weeks of careful plotting, taking advantage of weary guards and dropping down a 20-foot wall with a rope.

The Afghan journalist, Tahir Ludin, 35, said in an interview that the escape early Saturday from the second floor of a Taliban compound in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s tribal areas, was a desperate attempt by two severely demoralized reporters who believed that the Taliban were not seriously negotiating and would hold them indefinitely.

Mr. Ludin and David Rohde, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at The Times, along with their driver, Asadullah Mangal, were abducted outside Kabul on Nov. 10 as Mr. Rohde traveled to interview a Taliban commander for a book he was writing about Afghanistan.

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