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.
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.