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US soldier Bowe Bergdahl freed by Taliban in Afghanistan.

saward

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31 May 2014 Last updated at 18:47

US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was captured in Afghanistan in June 2009

A US soldier who has been held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly five years has been freed in deal that includes the release of five Afghan detainees, US officials say.

US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, 28, was handed over to US forces in good health, the officials said.

The five Afghan detainees have been released from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
They were handed over to Qatar, which mediated the transfer.

Sgt Bergdahl was the only US soldier being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Officials said he was in good condition and able to walk. He is expected to be transferred to Bagram Air Field, the main US base in Afghanistan, and then on to the United States.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said Sgt Bergdahl's recovery "is a reminder of America's unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield''.

Officials said the Taliban had handed him over on Saturday evening, local time, in eastern Afghanistan.

The soldier's hometown of Hailey continued to highlight his captivity
Several dozen US special forces were involved in the exchange, they said, which took place near the Pakistani border.
A senior official told the BBC that, once aboard the US helicopter, Sgt Bergdahl wrote "SF?" - asking if they were special operations forces - on a paper plate and showed it to the pilots, who replied: "Yes, we've been looking for you for a long time."
The senior official said: "At that point, Sgt Bergdahl broke down".

The soldier, of Hailey, Idaho, was captured on 30 June 2009, about two months after arriving in eastern Afghanistan.
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sgt Bergdahl would be given "all the support he needs to help him recover from this ordeal, and we are grateful that he will soon be reunited with his family".
He thanked the emir of Qatar for his role in enabling the transfer to take place.

On the five Guantanamo detainees, he said: "The United States has co-ordinated closely with Qatar to ensure that security measures are in place and the national security of the United States will not be compromised."

In January, the US military obtained a new video of Sgt Bergdahl, giving his family renewed hope of his eventual return.
Throughout his captivity, the soldier's hometown had continued to remember him with special events and yellow ribbons pinned to utility poles and trees.

BBC News - US soldier Bowe Bergdahl freed by Taliban in Afghanistan
 

Ivan67

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Nice to see Obama is sticking his hands in the non-negotiation policy as well. So who is playing who on this one. I bet this deal has opened up one hell of a large project budget, and what ever idealism he has been forced to accept that is now his life-style will only be confirmed for him through hate when he gets home to the New United States for out-processing. But thats all obvious.

However it should lead to some good targets and corrupted officials, as they tracked his entry and then no doubt are still tracking Terry, every cop & soldier involved as well as officials who looked the other way as Terry moved freely.

I would like to be a fly on the wall when the first poly tech of many ask him "Do you want to go home?". I bet his out-processing takes close to a year. 48 months of retro pay tax free with the up lifts will already take months to fix, then the rating process. The US gets a nice new vital listing, his family is going to be more than pleased, people he once knew will also take to the spot light. But no one will think about how this all is for him, I would not be shocked if he took his 200K and 100% retirement and just vanished either back to the bush away everyone or to a place that no one would know him.

Welcome back.
 
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