Video Indicates Captured US Soldier Still Alive

Image: Video Indicates Captured US Soldier Still Alive

Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 08:55 AM

By Lisa Barron

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The U.S. military has obtained a new video showing Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier captured by militants in Afghanistan more than four years ago, may still be alive.

The clip shows the Idaho native, who was seized in June 2009 and is believed to be held by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Pakistan, in diminished health, reports CNN, citing a U.S. military official.

The proof-of-life video is the first of Bergdahl, who was stationed in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan, in nearly three years. It reportedly contains a reference to the death of Nelson Mandela to show that it was made recently.

His family issued a statement on Wednesday saying, "Today we learned that a new video of our son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has been distributed by his captors."

"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," the statement reads.

"BOWE—If you see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!"

Bergdahl was 23 when he was captured after finishing a guard shift at a combat outpost about two months after arriving in Afghanistan.

It is not clear how the video, which came to the attention of U.S. officials in the last few days, was obtained or viewed, reports Reuters.

"Sgt. Bow Bergdahl has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release," said Elissa Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

She added that "military, intelligence and diplomatic tools" were being used to try to secure his safe return.

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