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UK reporter freed in Afghanistan

UK reporter freed in Afghanistan

New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was kidnapped on Saturday along with his Afghan interpreter while trying to visit the scene of a Nato air strike.

The translator was killed by Taliban fighters during the operation, according to foreign news reports.

Mr Farrell said he had been "extracted" by "a lot of soldiers" after a fierce firefight, the New York Times reported.

Special forces

The newspaper's website reported he had phoned the foreign editor of the newspaper at about 0030 BST (2330 GMT) and said: "I'm out! I'm free." Mr Farrell said he also called his wife.

Some reports from Afghanistan suggest that British special forces were involved in the rescue, but a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman declined to comment.

A spokeswoman told the BBC: "It was a Nato operation, we do not comment on special forces."

In 2004 the journalist was kidnapped in Iraq while working for the UK's Times newspaper.

Mr Farrell is the second New York Times journalist to be kidnapped in Afghanistan in a year.

In June, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Rohde and his Afghan colleague were abducted in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and moved across the border to Pakistan from where they escaped.
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