Commandos freed a New York Times reporter from his Taliban captors in a daring raid that proved deadly for the journalist's interpreter and a British rescuer.
Stephen Farrell told the newspaper he was being held in a room when he and his abductors heard helicopters and knew a raid was on. Farrell, who was captured along with his Afghan interpreter Saturday while covering the aftermath of deadly NATO strikes on hijacked fuel tankers, said they ran outside where a fierce firefight broke out.
"There were bullets all around us," said Farrell, 46, adding that he jumped in a ditch as his interpreter fell in a hail of gunfire. When the shooting died down, Farrell emerged unscathed from the ditch and was whisked to safety. He called his editor to say he'd been freed Tuesday night.
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The Times was not told of the NATO rescue operation, which came three months after David Rohde, another Times reporter, escaped his captors in the mountains of Afghanistan.