Taliban may have moved kidnapped US soldier to Pakistan

Posted By: Staff
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Lahore, July 22 (ANI): The US soldier abducted by the Taliban in Afghanistan might have been moved into Pakistan, thus complicating matters for American search teams.

ABC News quoted US and Afghan military officials, as saying that 23-year-old Private Bowe R Bergdahl of Idaho and three Afghan soldiers kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban, has now been moved to the South Waziristan Agency.

Pentagon says any effort to launch a rescue raid would be fraught with risks, but if the soldier had been moved to Pakistan, the challenge would be even harder, as the US military does not have the mandate to operate in Pakistan's territory, the Daily Times reports.

Insurgent leader Mullah Sangeen has demanded an end to drone strikes in exchange of Bergdahl's release, who is the first serviceman captured since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Bergdahl was abducted by Sangeen's men from a village near the US base in Paktika.

On Tuesday, Bergdahl's captors released a video showing him sitting on a carpet and having a meal. Last week, the US military began distributing leaflets that warned the abductors that they would be hunted down if they did not release Bergdahl.

An American involved in the search said US military officials "want to think he's in Afghanistan".

But those involved in the hunt said Bergdahl was recently seen at a training camp run by Sangeen, just inside Pakistan.

"Complicating the search is determining who, if anyone, Mullah Sangeen works for," the report said making it difficult to find leads.

"I am not sure if Mullah Sangeen is a hardcore Siraj Haqqani group member. However, Siraj is the boss. Let's hope the solider is still with Sangeen's people because you can [negotiate] with him," an Afghan intelligence officer said.

But Paktika is largely under the control of Siraj Haqqani, believed to be responsible for the kidnap of New York Times reporter David Rhode, who escaped last month from Pakistan after seven months of captivity. (ANI)

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