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NATO troops free kidnapped NY Times reporter

NATO troops released a kidnapped New York Times reporter in northern Afghanistan in a raid before dawn today after he had been held by the Taliban for four days, an Afghan district chief said.

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

Reporter Stephen Farrell, a Briton, was abducted on Saturday along with his Afghan interpreter while attempting to visit the scene of a NATO air strike.

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.

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.


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