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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Afghans Free Captive New Zealand Journalist

KABUL -- A freelance television cameraman from New Zealand said Wednesday he had been freed from three months of captivity with forces of President Burhanuddin Rabbani in the northern Afghan town of Kunduz.


Shane Teehan, who had traveled to Kunduz from Tajikistan to cover the plight of Tajik refugees in northern Afghanistan, said Rabbani's forces freed him Sunday after the town fell to their opponents, led by renegade Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum.


Hekmatyar captured Kunduz and its airport on Sunday after a week-long battle, Afghan sources in neighboring Pakistan said this week.


Fighting between the two sidesbroke out in Kabul at the beginning of January.


Teehan, 27, from Auckland, was captured with his Tajik translator at the end of November. The translator was freed but Teehan was kept in custody because his captors doubted his identity, he said.


"I was held until...Kunduz fell to the joint forces of Hekmatyar and Dostum," he said.


During the last three days of Teehan's captivity, Dostum's jets dropped 15 to 20 bombs on the city each day while Rabbani's forces responded with heavy rocketing and shelling, he said.


Teehan said Rabbani's forces had fled, with many of the town's residents, including refugees from Tajikistan.


Teehan said Rabbani's men drove him to nearby Takhar province and then flew him to Kabul by helicopter.