UK & World News

  • 16 January 2014, 10:34

Bowe Bergdahl: Video Shows US Soldier Alive

US officials have obtained a video of the last remaining US soldier being held prisoner by the Taliban - suggesting he is still alive since his capture in 2009.

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was detained in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

He is now understood to be held in Pakistan by the Haqqani, an Islamist insurgent network known to operate in the northwest frontier.

The existence of the video, which reportedly contains a reference to December 14, 2013, has been confirmed by Sgt Bergdahl's family who released a statement pleading to his captors to let him go.

"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 said.

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

Sgt Bergdahl's father, Bob, has previously published a video to raise awareness about his son's ordeal and to try to secure his release.

His captors have previously suggested they would free him in exchange for a number of senior operatives currently detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The group has released tapes of Sgt Bergdahl to journalists before, including one video a few months after he was captured.

In the grainy video he can be seen saying he is scared he will not be able to go home and how "unnerving" it is to be a prisoner.

But it is not clear how US officials obtained this latest video, which reportedly shows him in poor health. The film has not been released by Washington.

A Pentagon spokesman said:Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release."

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