Taliban Captures Missing US Soldier
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2009 6:45 AM CDT
US Marines move in formation through farm fields after landing by helicopter in an overnight night air assault near the Taliban stronghold of Nawa in Afghanistan's Helmand province, July 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
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(Newser) – Military officials believe that a US soldier who’s been missing since Tuesday has been captured by the Taliban, the Washington Post reports. The soldier appears to have walked off base into an unsecured area for reasons that remain unclear. Today, the Taliban’s Haqqani faction claimed to have captured him, along with his three Afghan guards. The military declined to release further information, fearing it would further endanger the soldier.

The news broke as a major assault on the Taliban began in Southern Afghanistan today. The roughly 4,000 Marines taking part in that offensive have so far encountered little resistance, though that could change once they begin patrolling towns.