Reporter Escapes From Taliban Captors

New York Times reporter David S. Rohde was abducted last November 10 along with an Afghan reporter colleague and a driver south of the Afghan capital, Kabul. It was announced June 20, 2009, that he has escaped his Taliban captors after being held for more than 7 months at a militant compound in Pakistan.
NY Times
This isn't the first time David Rohde's reporting put him in harm's way. Fourteen years ago in Bosnia, he was arrested by Serbian troops.

After Rohde broke the story of the massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebenica, he sneaked back in country. The Serbs thought Rohde was a spy when they saw him taking pictures of other graves, reports CBS News correspondent Tony Guida.

"Well, for five days, we didn't know if he was alive or dead," said Clayton Jones, Rohde's former editor at the Christian Science Monitor. "And then when he came out later, we discovered that the Serbs had been driving all over Yugoslavia trying to find a place to develop the slides."

Rohde won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of Srebenica. He won a second Pulitzer a month ago for his part in the New York Times' coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rohde was researching a book on the U.S. involvement there, when the Taliban offered him an interview. Instead they kidnapped him and his translator. Rohde was abducted outside Kabul and held for seven months in the mountainous Pakistani region of Waziristan.

"The kidnappers would let him call to sort of demonstrate that he was still alive," said Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times. "And from that we know they were mostly in the mountains, that they moved frequently."

Yesterday, Rohde somehow managed to climb over a wall. He hailed a Pakistani scout, who took him to an army base. From there, Rohde was airlifted to the U.S. airbase at Bagram, Afghanistan.

"That's at this moment where he is," Keller said. "I hope catching up on some sleep, getting a physical, chatting with his wife on the phone."

Rohde was lucky. Since Sept. 11, 32 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"This is probably the most dangerous period in history for journalists," said Joel Simon, the director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. "In Iraq alone, we've counted 139 journalists who've been killed."

Rohde's family says they prayed for him every day and they're enormously relieved that he is safe. None more than his wife Kristen, who said they have been married for nine months, and he's been captivity for seven of them.