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Sunday, 7 October, 2001, 19:07 GMT 20:07 UK
Timeline: Reporter taken captive
Yvonne Ridley
Yvonne Ridley was disguised in a traditional burqa
British journalist Yvonne Ridley, who was seized by Afghanistan's ruling Taleban, was to be released according to unconfirmed reports. The military strikes of 7 October have led to fears about her fate.

BBC News Online charts how the events unfolded.

September 28: Sunday Express journalist Yvonne Ridley, 43, is held by the Taleban in the village of Dour Baba, 40 miles southeast of the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.

September 29: Ms Ridley's eight-year-old daughter Daisy is unaware her mother is being held. The Foreign Office and aid agencies work to free Ms Ridley and urge the Taleban to treat her well.

September 30: The Taleban sends a team to Dour Baba to determine if Ms Ridley is a spy - an offence that carries the death penalty under the regime's interpretation of Islamic law. Her daughter is told about her mother's "adventures".

October 1: Ms Ridley's decision to cross the Afghanistan border is backed by the Women in Journalism group.

October 2: Daisy Ridley writes to Prime Minister Tony Blair saying she wants her mother home for her ninth birthday. The editorial director of Express Newspapers and a company lawyer fly to Pakistan to aid efforts to free the journalist.

October 3: The Taleban accuses Ms Ridley of being a member of the special forces. Celebrations for Daisy's birthday are postponed until her mother returns home safely, the family say.

October 4: Authorities in Afghanistan say Ms Ridley is to be put on trial for illegally entering Afghanistan. Her mother Joyce criticises Prime Minister Tony Blair for "posturing" by threatening the Taleban while her daughter's safety is at stake.

October 5: Mr Blair, in Pakistan for diplomacy talks, says the British Government is doing what it can behind the scenes to free Ms Ridley in "obviously difficult circumstances".

October 6: Ms Ridley is to be released, according to reports quoting the Afghanistan Islamic Press news agency.

October 7: Ms Ridley's family expresses fear and "dread" about her safety after missiles are launched at targets in Afghanistan as the US begins its military response to the terror attacks in New York and Washington.

The BBC's Greg Milam
"Yvonne Ridley's ordeal could soon be over"

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War view



See also:

29 Sep 01 | UK
Profile: Yvonne Ridley
01 Oct 01 | South Asia
Seized journalist 'appears well'
30 Sep 01 | South Asia
Taleban investigate captured reporter
29 Sep 01 | South Asia
Diplomats seek to free reporter
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