Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fresh Air: A Reporter's Tale Of Ambush And Captivity

A Reporter's Tale Of Ambush And Captivity
Fresh Air (NPR)

New York Times reporter David Rohde was covering Pakistan and Afghanistan in November 2008 when he, driver Asad Mangal and local Afghan reporter Tahir Luddin were ambushed and kidnapped by the Taliban. They were taken into the tribal areas of Pakistan and held captive for over seven months before Luddin and Rohde managed to escape.

Rohde recounts the ambush — and his subsequent imprisonment in Pakistan — in the Times article "7 Months, 10 Days in Captivity":

"I felt the car swerve to the right and stop," he writes of the kidnapping. "Two gunmen ran toward our car shouting commands in Pashto, the local language. The gunmen opened both front doors and ordered Tahir and Asad to move to the back seat. ... The gunman in the passenger seat shouted more commands. Tahir told me they wanted our cellphones and other possessions. 'If they find we have a hidden phone,' Tahir said, 'they'll kill us.' "

The Times team members later won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rohde also won a Pulitzer in 1996, while he was a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, for his coverage of the Srebrenica massacre.

To Listen to the Interview

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