Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Friday, 25 December 2009

Taliban video shows captive US soldier Bowe Bergdahl


Pte Bergdahl is the only known American captive of the Taliban

The Taliban has released a video that shows US soldier Bowe Robert Bergdahl who was captured in Afghanistan almost six months ago.

Nato has confirmed the man in the video - seen wearing sunglasses, a military helmet and uniform - is Pte Bergdahl.

The 23-year-old airborne infantryman, originally from Idaho, appears healthy. He speaks calmly and clearly.

He was captured in Paktika province, a Taliban stronghold in eastern Afghanistan, on 30 June.

The insurgents also released a video of him a few weeks after he was captured.



In the video, Pte Bergdahl gives identifying details about himself such as his rank, date and place of birth, and deployment details.

"This is just going to be the next Vietnam unless the American people stand up and stop all this nonsense," he says.

US Navy Rear Admiral Gregory Smith has condemned the video in a statement, saying Pte Bergdahl had clearly been forced to read a prepared statement.

He said releasing the clip on Christmas Day was an affront to the soldier's family and against the teachings of Islam.

The Pentagon has said Pte Bergdahl was serving with an Alaska-based infantry regiment in Paktika province.

He vanished from his base, near the border with Pakistan, just five months after arriving in Afghanistan.

The military has been trying to locate him ever since, and a reward has been offered for his safe return.

He is believed to be the first soldier seized in either Iraq or Afghanistan for at least two years.

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