10 Sep 2009

Kidnapped journalist rescued from Taliban

3:52 pm on 10 September 2009

NATO troops have resued a kidnapped UK journalist from the Taliban in a pre-dawn helicopter mission in Afghanistan that left four others dead.

New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was freed unhurt.

However, his Afghan colleague Sultan Munadi was killed along with a British soldier and two Afghan civilians.

The pair were seized in northern Kunduz province on Saturday. They were investigating an air strike by NATO on two hijacked fuel tankers that left many dead.

The BBC reports it is not the first time Mr Farrell has been abducted on assignment - in 2004 he was briefly kidnapped in Iraq while working for London's Times newspaper.

The head of the Afghan Independent Journalists' Association, Rahimullah Samandar, told the BBC that the raid showed international forces did not care about Afghan reporters.

Mr Samandar said it was not the first time a kidnapped Afghan journalist has been killed when a Western colleague was freed.

The Afghan government is calling for an inquiry.