Steve Farrell, Irish/British dual citizen and NY Times reporter, wears a local hat on the left. Photo snapped with his translator at his side the day before their abduction.
Negotiations were reportedly underway between the International Red Cross and the kidnappers, yet a rescue raid by Special Forces on the fourth day of captivity led to a shoot out and the death of NY Times reporter Stephen Farrell's local fixer/interpreter, a paratrooper and a civilian. This is a troubling incident, fueling Afghan anger at Nato troops, particularly because two warnings were ignored by the gung-ho journalist, who had briefly been kidnapped outside Baghdad. The slain body of the interpreter was left at the scene by the rescuers, who mistook him for an insurgent. Questions are being raised about the British raid and the muzzling of the mainstream media.
Sultan Munadi, the Afghan translator and fixer who agreed to work with Stephen Farrell, was in his early 30s. According to the Associated Press, he
was employed by The New York Times starting in 2002... He left the company a few years later to work for a local radio station.
He left Afghanistan last year to study for a master's degree in Germany. He came back to Kabul last month for a holiday over Ramadan and to see his family, and agreed to accompany Farrell to Kunduz on a freelance basis. He was married and had two young sons.
Rest In Peace, Sultan.