The U.S. military has received a new video of captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl they believe was taped within the last month, showing the soldier is alive, a senior defense official told Fox News.
In the latest video received by the military several days ago, Bergdahl is speaking. He appears “gaunt,” and in poorer health than previous videos, showing signs of his nearly five years in captivity, the defense official told Fox News on Wednesday.
Bergdahl, who is from Idaho, was taken prisoner on June 30, 2009 while based in eastern Afghanistan. It's believed he's being held somewhere in Pakistan. The Taliban released a video of the soldier, then 23, a month after his capture. In that video he appeared downcast and frightened. He indicated that he was captured after lagging behind during a patrol.
U.S. defense spokeswoman Elissa Smith said in a statement to FoxNews.com that the Pentagon is “aware of reports of the latest video.”
“Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release. We cannot discuss all the details of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis -- using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools -- we try to see Sgt. Bergdahl returned home safely. Our hearts are with the Bergdahl family.”
In a statement, Bergdahl's family said that they learned Wednesday about the video. "Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible.
"As we have done so many times over the past four and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father. Bowe - If (you) see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!"
In another video released in 2010, Bergdahl described himself as a “prisoner” who wanted to go home.
"This war isn't worth the waste of human life that has cost both Afghanistan and the U.S. It's not worth the amount of lives that have been wasted in prisons, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, all those places where we are keeping prisoners," he said, according to The Associated Press.
The Taliban-linked Haqqani network has said they would free Bergdahl in exchange for five of their most senior operatives detained at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Obama administration rejected the offer, citing a long standing U.S. policy that it does not negotiate with terrorists.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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