Taliban video shows handover of US soldier

Taliban video shows handover of US soldier

Written by Bella Dalima

04 Jun, 2014 | 9:40 pm

The Taliban have released a video showing the moment Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to US forces after five years in captivity in Afghanistan.

The footage shows him sitting in a pick-up truck, before being walked to a helicopter in a Khost province valley.

The US soldier was freed on Saturday in exchange for the release of five senior Taliban figures from Guantanamo Bay.

The deal has caused controversy in the US, with Republicans warning it could put American lives at risk.

Local sources in Khost have told the BBC that members of the Haqqani network handed over Sgt Bowe Bergdahl in the remote valley of Betani, 40km (25 miles) from Pakistan’s Waziristan region.

The area is controlled by the group and its commander, Mullah Tajmir, who served as a senior intelligence official during the Taliban regime, and has close ties to Sirajuddin Haqqani and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

The US has long described the Haqqani group as a major threat. The network – which has also links to al-Qaeda – has carried out a series of high-profile attacks against foreign troops in Afghanistan. The Pakistan-based militant network was designated a terrorist group by the US in 2012, making it subject to sanctions.

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