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June 28, 1989

An American journalist, making his first appearance since being captured June 8 by Afghan soldiers while traveling with guerrillas, said he felt "damned happy to be alive" in a jail in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Tony O'Brien, 43, a free-lance photographer from Sante Fe, N.M., on assignment for Life magazine, spoke at a news conference organized by the Soviet-backed government's security authorities. A government spokesman said O'Brien had entered Afghanistan illegally six times with moujahedeen guerrillas based in neighboring Pakistan. O'Brien said he expects to stand trial but does not know when.

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