Taliban Frees US Hostage Held Since '09

Bowe Bergdahl part of a prisoner swap with 5 at Gitmo

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 31, 2014 11:45 AM CDT | Updated May 31, 2014 11:58 AM CDT

(Newser) Bowe Bergdahl is finally coming home. The Taliban freed the American soldier it has held hostage for five years, and he is now in US custody, reports the AP. The Idaho native went missing on June 30, 2009, in southeast Afghanistan, and had been the only US soldier held captive in the country. The Army sergeant was released as part of a deal brokered by Qatar that also freed five detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, reports the Washington Post. US officials say the 28-year-old seems to be in good health and was able to walk, but was under the care of military doctors.

President Obama personally delivered the news to his parents and in a statement said his release "is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield." Bergdahl, believed to have been held by the Taliban offshoot Haqqani network, was turned over to US special-ops forces at an unspecified location. The five Gitmo detainees were being transferred to Qatar and will have a one-year travel ban among other security restrictions, reports the New York Times.

This image made from video and released in 2010 by the Taliban shows U.S. soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.   (AP Photo/Site Intelligence Group)
This undated photo provided by the Bergdahl family and released by the Idaho National Guard shows Bowe R. Bergdahl.   (AP Photo/The Bergdahl Family, File)
This file image from video in 2010 shows Bowe Bergdahl and one of his captors.   (AP Photo/IntelCenter, File)
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