Taliban arrest burqa-clad French reporter
ISLAMABAD- A burqa-clad reporter for the French weekly magazine Paris Match was arrested by Taliban forces in eastern Afghanistan and taken to Jalalabad for questioning, the Afghan Islamic Press agency reported.
Micheal Peyrard, a Frenchman aged about 30, was captured in Goshta, a town east of Jalalabad, after entering the country over the nearby border from Pakistan, the Afghanistan Islamic Press (AIP) agency based in the Pakistani city of Peshawar said.
Journalists in Peshawar said Peyrard had told them he planned to slip into Afghanistan, which the ruling Taliban closed off to foreign reporters after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in the United States.
Peyrard was being held by the Taliban intelligence service in Jalalabad, AIP said. Two Pakistani guides travelling with him were also arrested.
His was the third known case of a western reporter entering the country clad in the traditional head to toe burqa veil, which foreigners think can disguise them.
British reporter Yvonne Ridley was freed on Monday after 10 days in Afghan captivity and questioning as possible spy.
Afghans can usually tell by body language such as a person’s walk whether a non-Afghan is hiding beneath the veil’s folds.
Earlier, the French Foreign Ministry said it was seeking information on the captive’s identity but did not believe the individual captured was member of the French military.
“As far as I know, I don’t think it is a soldier,” ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau said.
The French Defence Ministry has said it had intelligence agents on the ground in Afghanistan, but they were in the north with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and had provided intelligence for US led air strikes on Afghan targets.
Source: Business Recorder