US & Canada

New video 'shows captive US Sgt Bowe Bergdahl'

Undated image of US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl Image copyright AP
Image caption US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was captured in Afghanistan in June 2009 (file photo)

The US military has obtained a new video of a US soldier captured in Afghanistan more than four years ago, US officials have confirmed.

It shows Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, 27, in declining health but gives his family renewed hope for his eventual return.

Sgt Bergdahl, missing since June 2009, is believed to be held in Pakistan by a group affiliated with the Taliban.

The video refers to current events, indicating the only American held prisoner in the conflict remains alive.

"As we have done so many times over the past four and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely," Sgt Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Image copyright AP
Image caption An image of Bergdahl released in 2010 showed the US soldier looking grim but alive

US officials have confirmed the existence of the video to US media but have declined to discuss its contents.

A proposal offered by the Taliban in June to exchange Sgt Bergdahl for several top senior operatives detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, stalled only weeks later when the militants vowed to fight Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government.

Meanwhile, the soldier's hometown of Hailey, Idaho, has continued to remember him through special events and yellow ribbons pinned to the town's utility poles and trees.

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