NATO kills Afghan woman, journalist to release NY Times reporter

NATO troops killed an Afghan woman to reach a kidnapped New York Times reporter in Afghanistan in a raid before dawn, an Afghan district chief said.

NATO kills Afghan woman, journalist to release NY Times reporter

NATO troops killed an Afghan woman and a journalist to reach a kidnapped New York Times reporter in northern Afghanistan in a raid before dawn on Wednesday, an Afghan district chief said.

British reporter Stephen Farrell and his Afghan colleague Mohammad Sultan Munadi had been abducted while attempting to visit the scene of a NATO air strike that killed scores of Afghan civilians in the north of the country.

A witness said the reporter's Afghan interpreter was killed.

The two men ran outside, he said. "There were bullets all around us. I could hear British and Afghan voices."

Farrell said Munadi went forward, shouting: "Journalist! Journalist!" but dropped in a burst of gunfire.

Abdul Waheed Omarkheil, district chief of Char Dara district in Kunduz province, said Farrell had been freed in a pre-dawn raid by NATO troops.

The district chief said an Afghan woman was killed during the raid in the house where the two men were being held. He had no information about the fate of the interpreter.

Mohammad Nabi, a resident of the district, said Taliban fighters with the two captives had stayed at his house that night after demanding shelter. He said NATO forces arrived by helicopter and killed his sister-in-law during their raid.

"Last night, a group of Taliban in two vehicles came to my house saying they needed shelter. We took them to our guest house. There was a foreign journalist and an Afghan translator with them," Nabi said.

"At midnight, U.S. helicopters came, dropping off soldiers. A clash broke out and then the soldiers blew open the door of my house, killing my sister-in-law, and took the reporter away with them."

The troops left with Farrell, but not the interpreter, whose body was found outside the house in the morning, Nabi told Reuters.

The NATO-led force in Afghanistan and the British embassy both declined to comment.

Reuters
Last Mod: 09 Eylül 2009, 13:48
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