Sunday, July 19, 2009

Taliban Releases Video of Captured U.S. Soldier

Via -

The American soldier who went missing June 30 from his base in eastern Afghanistan and was later confirmed captured, appeared on a video posted Saturday to a website by the Taliban, two U.S. defence officials confirmed.

The soldier is shown in the 28-minute video with his head shaved and the start of a beard. He is sitting and dressed in a nondescript, grey outfit. Early in the video one of his captors holds the soldier's dog tag up to the camera. His name and ID number are clearly visible. He is shown eating at one point and sitting on a bed.

The soldier, whose identity has not yet been released by the Pentagon pending notification of members of Congress and the soldier's family, says his name, age and hometown on the video, which was released Saturday on a website pointed out by the Taliban. Two U.S. defence officials confirmed to The Associated Press that the man in the video is the captured soldier.

The soldier said the date is July 14. He says he was captured when he lagged behind on a patrol.

He is interviewed in English by his captors, and he is asked his views on the war, which he calls extremely hard, his desire to learn more about Islam and the morale of American soldiers, which he said was low.

Asked how he was doing, the soldier said on the video:

"Well I'm scared, scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner."

He begins to answer questions in a matter-of-fact and sober voice, occasionally facing the camera, looking down and sometimes looking to the questioner on his left.

He later chokes up when discussing his family and his hope to marry his girlfriend.

"I have my girlfriend, who is hoping to marry," he said. "I have a very very good family that I love back home in America. And I miss them every day when I'm gone. I miss them and I'm afraid that I might not ever see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again and I'll never be able to hug them."

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