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New Taliban video shows captive U.S. soldier

By the CNN Wire Staff
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New video of captured soldier surfaces
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The video is a relief to people in Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl's hometown
  • Bergdahl was reported captured in June 2009
  • No date is indicated in the video
  • It shows Bergdahl with a large abrasion on his left cheek
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(CNN) -- New video from a production house associated with the Taliban includes scenes of a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan nearly 18 months ago, a family spokesman confirmed Tuesday night.

Spc. Bowe Bergdahl was reported captured in June 2009 and was last seen in a hostage video released by the Taliban in April.

But he appears in footage released Tuesday by Manba al-Jihad, a video production group associated with the Islamic militia battling U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

There was no indication when the scenes were recorded. But Col. Timothy Marsano, a spokesman for the Bergdahl family, said they have seen images from the video and confirmed the thin Westerner seen in the video is the missing soldier.

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At Zaney's River Street Coffee House in Hailey, Idaho, where Bergdahl once worked, people were talking about the video Wednesday morning.

"We are very relieved to know that Bowe is alive," coffee house worker Cory Ruch said.

Bergdahl was 23 when he disappeared from his combat outpost in southeastern Afghanistan's Paktika province. He is from Blaine County, Idaho, just outside Hailey.

In the nearly 45-minute video, he is wearing an open-necked, tan shirt and has a large abrasion on his left cheek, just below the eye. Though he had grown a beard in earlier videos, he appears clean-shaven in the latest one, and his hair remains close-cropped.

A speaker says the Paktia mujahadeen captured the soldier, and that he is in the custody of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and has all Islamic rights.

The video was obtained by IntelCenter, a Virginia-based think tank that specializes in tracking terrorist groups. IntelCenter said most of the video shows Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and that Bergdahl appears with a Taliban commander who had threatened to kill the American captive in July 2009.

The footage includes previously released scenes, but includes "a non-cropped version of the previously released footage that has never been seen," IntelCenter said.

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

 
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