[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Video shows captive US soldier
Pentagon identifies captured soldier as 23-year-old private Bowe Bergdahl.
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2009 14:42 GMT
The soldier in the Taliban video said he was captured when he lagged behind on a patrol

An American soldier, who went missing on June 30 from his base in eastern Afghanistan and was later confirmed captured, has appeared on a video posted on a website by the Taliban, the Associated Press news agency says.

The soldier was shown in the 28-minute video on Saturday with his head shaved.

The Pentagon on Sunday identified the soldier as 23-year-old private Bowe Bergdahl of Ketchum, Idaho.

His status was changed two weeks ago from "whereabouts unknown" to "missing-captured".

The video shows Bergdahl in traditional Afghan dress, being prompted in English by his captors to call for forces to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

He appears to be in good health, but says that he is scared.

"I am scared. I'm scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner," he 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."

A voice off camera prompts: "Miss them."

The soldier continues: "And I miss them every day that I'm gone. I miss them and I'm afraid that I might never see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again. I'll never be able to hug them."

US criticism

The US military denounced the release of the video, calling the images Taliban propaganda that violated international law.

"We condemn the use of this video and the public humiliation of prisoners. It is against international law," Colonel Greg Julian, a US military spokesman, said.

"We are doing everything we can to return this soldier to safety."

On July 2, the US military said that an American soldier had disappeared after walking off his base in eastern Afghanistan with three Afghan counterparts and was believed to have been taken prisoner.

A US defence official said the soldier, known now to be Bergdahl, was noticed missing during a routine check of the unit on June 30.

Soldier missing

Details of such incidents are routinely held very tightly by the military as it works to retrieve a missing or captured soldier without giving away any information to captors.

But Nabi Mullakheil, a general in the Afghan police, said the soldier went missing in eastern Paktika province near the border with Pakistan from an American base. The region is known to have a strong Taliban presence.

A number of civilians have been abducted in Afghanistan including aid workers and journalists, both foreigners and Afghans.

But the only other service member that officials could recall who had been captured was a Navy SEAL in March 2002, who fell out of a helicopter and was killed by al-Qaeda.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
Teenage phenom with quick hands and a passion for boxing has reminded many of the great Filipino fighter at a young age.
Families of Britons killed in 2013 siege at gas plant in Algeria frustrated by inquiry delay over 'sensitive' materials.
Rhinoceros beetles once drew 40,000 visitors each year to Tamura city, but nuclear disaster has decimated beetle mania.
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
join our mailing list