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Afghanistan bars NY Times reporter from leaving country

Afghanistan’s attorney general banned a New York Times reporter from leaving the country yesterday pending an investigation into a controversial story about purported plans by unidentified officials to take power if a political crisis continues.

Matthew Rosenberg, 40, said last night that he was summoned to the attorney general’s office in the afternoon and asked numerous questions about the story.

He said he rejected requests to reveal his sources and was then told to return the next day with a lawyer to face more questions.

“They did not explicitly tell me I couldn’t leave the country, but it was clear I was not free to go,” Rosenberg said. He said he was questioned by three men who were “polite but insistent” and who seemed equally concerned by the “idea” of the story and which officials and political leaders had spoken with him.

He said the Times was consulting lawyers about his next step.

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