Thursday, July 2, 2009

U.S. Soldier Captured & Sold to Afghan Militant Clan

Via CNN -

The American soldier abducted in southeastern Afghanistan is now being held by a notorious militant clan, a senior U.S. military official said.

This soldier and three Afghan soldiers were captured by low-level militants and then quickly "sold" to the clan and network led by warlord Siraj Haqqani -- believed to be deeply involved in the action.

The Haqqanis -- who operate on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and are well known to the U.S. military -- are assembling shuras, or local councils of leaders, to talk and try to "legitimize" what they have done, the official said.

U.S., Afghan and Pakistani troops are sealing off the area and also are talking to tribal chiefs, village elders and leaders.

They are telling them to "do the right thing and solve this," the official said.

The U.S. military is telling people not to let Haqqani operatives move through their area and to find the American and return him. The military wants to make sure there is "no shelter" for the militants holding him.

"We want to make sure there is no place to hide," the official said.

The soldier, missing since Tuesday, did apparently leave his small outpost on his own with no apparent means of defending himself, and the U.S. military believes a video of him is forthcoming.

The Taliban earlier claimed responsibility for the abduction. The U.S. soldier was kidnapped along with three Afghan soldiers, Taliban commander Mulvi Sangeen said.

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