Code 73139
PublishDate: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:49

US to offer Taliban prisoners exchange to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was seized by militants in 2009 and he is believed to be held by Haqqani Network militants in Pakistan.

According to reports, the Obama administration has decided to resume talks with the Taliban group in Afghanistan in an effort to free American soldier in captivity.
The Obama administration is expected to offer the release of five Taliban prisoners held at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, in exchange for the freedom of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, The Washington Post reported.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was seized by militants in 2009 and he is believed to be held by Haqqani Network militants in Pakistan.
A new video of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was obtained by the US military earlier this year, nearly five years after he disappeared from his military base in Afghanistan.
US military officials have said that Sgt. Bergdahl is in diminished health from the effects of close to five years in captivity.
The move is an attempt to free Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl before the majority of US forces leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
US officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said five members of the Afghan Taliban who have been held at Guantanamo for years would be released to protective custody in Qatar in exchange for the release of Bergdahl.
The Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Friday that U.S. officials are eager to get the soldier back.
In the meantime the Post reported that the offer has not been formally made, adding that Bergdahl is thought to be held in Pakistan by the Haqqani network.
Initial reports suggested that Taliban offered to release him in exchange for $1 million and 21 Afghan prisoners. However, efforts to free Sgt. Bergdal, including negotiations with the militant groups for his release, have so far failed.

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