WASHINGTON — The American soldier who went missing June 30 from his base in eastern Afghanistan and was later confirmed to have been captured, appeared on a video posted Saturday to a Web site by the Taliban.
Two U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Associated Press that the man in the video is the captured soldier. The video provides the first glimpse the public has had of the missing soldier.
The soldier is shown in the 28-minute video with his head shaved and the start of a beard. He is sitting and dressed in a nondescript, gray outfit. Early in the video one of his captors holds the soldier’s dog tag up to the camera. His name and ID number are clearly visible. He is shown eating at one point and sitting cross-legged.
The soldier, whose identity has not yet been released by the Pentagon pending notification of members of Congress and the soldier’s family, says his name, age and hometown on the video, which was released Saturday on a Web site pointed out by the Taliban.
The soldier said the date is July 14. He says he was captured when he lagged behind on a patrol.
He is interviewed in English by his captors, and he is asked his views on the war, which he calls extremely hard, his desire to learn more about Islam and the morale of American soldiers, which he said was low.
Asked how he was doing, the soldier said on the video:
“Well I’m scared, scared I won’t be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner.”
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