Sunday, December 11, 2011

Captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl 'recaptured by the Taliban after three days on the run following daring escape'

A U.S. soldier held by the Taliban since 2009 has been recaptured after he went on the run for three days.

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's daring escape failed when a manhunt was launched in Pakistan to find him, Taliban commanders said.

He is now facing his third Christmas in captivity.

Sgt Bergdahl has been a prisoner of the Taliban since his capture on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan.

Since then, he has appeared in a least five Taliban propoganda videos, one of which was released in May.

He is the only known U.S. soldier to be captive of the Taliban.

Sgt Bergdahl made the attempt in late August or early September, after several months when his jailers became more trusting of him.

It is thought he learnt Pashto and converted to Islam to build up a rapport with his captors.

The soldier then reportedly jumped from a first-floor window of a mud-brick house in Pakistan where he was held, and made his escape into underbrush and forested mountains.

His captors found him three days later hiding in a trench, covered with leaves and virtually naked, according to the report.

The sources described Sgt Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, fighting 'like a boxer' when found.

Quoting a Taliban source, The Daily Beast reported that Sgt Bergdahl told his captors that he wanted to find civilian villagers who would help him and notify the U.S..

But that hope proved futile as villagers had long since fled Pakistan's North Waziristan region because of the conflict.

Now he is back in captivity, Sgt Bergdahl is once more restrained at night and being moved frequently to avoid detection by U.S. forces.

Drone strikes have killed several senior militants in the area he is being held and sources say the Taliban is ready to make a deal to release the soldier.

A source told The Daily Beast: 'There's a fear that a dronecould hit the golden [goose].'

Colonel Tim Marsano, an Idaho National Guard spokesman based in Boise, was quoted in the report and has spoken with Sgt Bergdahl's family.

'There is certainly a lot of new information in that article that was news to the Sgt Bergdahl family,' he said. 'Any mother would be glad to hear that her son is alive and well at this point.'



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