DAVID ROHDE IS HEADED HOME…. Taliban kidnappings don’t usually turn out this well.
David Rohde, a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban, escaped Friday night and made his way to freedom after more than seven months of captivity in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr. Rohde, along with a local reporter, Tahir Ludin, and their driver, Asadullah Mangal, was abducted outside Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 10 while Mr. Rohde was researching a book.
Mr. Rohde was part of The Times’s reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize this spring for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan last year.
Mr. Rohde told his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, that Mr. Ludin joined him in climbing over the wall of a compound where they were being held in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. They found a Pakistani Army scout, who led them to a nearby army base, and on Saturday they were flown to the American military base in Bagram, Afghanistan.
The kidnapping was deliberately kept quiet, after experts said publicity would put Rhode and other hostages in greater danger.
Even now, details of what transpired over the last seven months are sketchy, because as Bill Keller explained, “Kidnapping, tragically, is a flourishing industry in much of the world. As other victims have told us, discussing your strategy just offers guidance for future kidnappers.”
We did, however, learn that no ransom money was paid and no Taliban or other prisoners were released.