- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
KABUL, Afghanistan – A new video released by the Taliban shows a man believed to be the only known American serviceman held captive in Afghanistan, a group that tracks militant websites said Wednesday.
Spc. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, has been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009, when he disappeared in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan. It was not immediately clear when the video was made.
The U.S.-based IntelCenter said that along with Berghdal, another man in the video appeared to be the Taliban commander who had once threatened to kill the U.S. soldier. The video, taken in a wooded area, shows Berghdal looking thin in a loose gray top, with bags under his eyes and what appeared to be an abrasion along his left cheekbone.
In July 2009, Taliban commander Mawlavi Sangin's spokesman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that Berghdal would be killed unless the U.S. stops strikes in Ghazni province's Giro district and Paktika province's Khoshamand district.
The video, which also shows militant attacks in Afghanistan, was released by Manba al-Jihad, a video production group affiliated with the Taliban. The man believed to be Bergdahl appears only briefly in the video and is not the main focus.
The 24-year-old Bergdahl has appeared in three videos the Taliban released prior to this: on July 18, 2009; Dec. 25, 2009; and April 7.
Separately, two NATO service members died Wednesday following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan. The coalition did not disclose their nationalities or details about their deaths. So far this month, 12 members of the NATO coalition have been killed in Afghanistan. At least 671 have died so far this year.
The Afghan Defense Ministry on Wednesday condemned a coalition airstrike that it said mistakenly killed two Afghan soldiers on Tuesday afternoon. The ministry said in a statement that three other Afghan soldiers were wounded in the airstrike in Charkh district of Logar province in eastern Afghanistan.
NATO said it was investigating the incident.
On Tuesday, Afghan soldiers killed a suicide attacker who threatened to blow himself up at an Afghan army base in the Gereshk district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the Afghan Defense Ministry said. The ministry did not disclose any other details of the incident.
Also in the south, one child was killed and two men were injured in a homemade bomb explosion in the Shahjoy district of Zabul province, said Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, spokesman for the provincial governor.