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Bergdahl tells officials he was tortured and caged after he tried to flee his Taliban captors

A senior U.S. official says Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (boh BURG'-dahl) tells military officials that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl is saying while being treated at a U.S. military medical facility in Germany.

The official says it is difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl is providing about conditions of his captivity in the hands of the Taliban. He was released a week ago after nearly five years in captivity.

The New York Times reports Sunday that Bergdahl is not yet emotionally prepared to return to his family.

His release in exchange for five Taliban militants from Guantanamo Bay has ignited a political firestorm.

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