Ajmal Naqshbandi

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Taliban fighters beheaded reporter Ajmal Naqshbandi in the Garmsir
district of Helmand province after the Afghan government refused
demands to free jailed Taliban leaders in exchange for the journalist’s

Naqshbandi was abducted on March 4 with La Repubblica
reporter Daniele Mastrogiacomo and the group’s driver, Sayed Agha, in
Helmand province. Agha was slain a few days after the abduction, while
the Italian Mastrogiacomo was released March 19 in exchange for five
Taliban prisoners.

Naqshbandi, a freelance journalist with
several clients, was accompanying Mastrogiacomo on a trip to interview
Taliban leaders when the kidnapping took place.