Taliban release video of captured US soldier

July 19, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The Taliban have released a 28-minute video of a captive American soldier who went missing in eastern Afghanistan on June 30.  Earlier this week the US military distributed pamphlets calling for the release of the soldier believed to be the first kidnapped in Afghanistan since 2002.  In the video the soldier identified as Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23, of Hailey, Idaho,  appeared with his head shaven and a slight beard, wearing traditional Afghan shalwar kameez clothing.
Bergdahl who is obviously being prompted to say certain things and  deliver a message, describes the war as “very hard” and says he is keen to learn about Islam.
“To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it’s like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home,” he said.

“Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. Please bring us home.”

His voice becomes strained when describing his personal life:

“Well, I am scared. I’m scared I won’t be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner,” the soldier says.

“I have my girlfriend, who is hoping to marry. I have my grandma and grandpas. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America.”

In other clips, Bergdahl appears to be in good health and is shown occasionally eating.  The US military initially withheld his name, rank and age.

The captors, however, hold up the soldier’s identity tags in the video.

Military spokesman Captain Jon Stock were of course upset with the video, accusing the Taliban of breaching “international law” by “the use of the soldier for propaganda purposes”.

The circumstances of the soldier’s capture remain unclear. In the video, Bergdahl said he was captured after lagging behind on a patrol. However previously it’s been reported he was snatched after leaving his base without permission along with three Afghan nationals.

It is believed Bergdahl is being held across the border in Pakistan’s tribal belt, perhaps in North Waziristan, a hub of Taliban military acrivity.  The BBC have a copy of the video here.


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