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Missing soldier shown in new Taliban video

Jan. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl before his capture by the Taliban.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl before his capture by the Taliban. (AP)
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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only U.S. soldier still missing in Afghanistan, is believed to still be alive after the military obtained a new video made by his captors, according to media reports.

Bergdahl, of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, disappeared June 30, 2009, when he went missing from his combat outpost in Paktika province.

The Army lists him as missing-captured. It is believed Bergdahl is being held by the Haqqani network.

In a report released today, CNN reported that the recently obtained video shows Bergdahl in diminished health. This is the first video of Bergdahl in about three years.

A military official, speaking on background, confirmed to Army Times that there is such a video. The official declined to provide further details.

The Defense Department is aware of reports of a video, a defense spokeswoman told Army Times.

“Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release,” Navy Cmdr. Elissa Smith said in a statement. “We can not 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.”

News of Bergdahl and his whereabouts and condition have been sporadic.

In his 2012 book “No Easy Day,” about the now infamous 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a former SEAL Team 6 operator writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen describes an early-morning assault to rescue Bergdahl.

The assault took place shortly after Bergdahl’s captors aired a video of the soldier.

However, the SEALs did not find Bergdahl that day or during the rest of their deployment.

Apart from Owen’s account, details of the ongoing mission to bring Bergdahl home have largely remained under wraps.

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