Lone US soldier freed in Afghanistan
Washington, June 1 (IBNS): The only United States prisoner, who was in captivity of the Taliban militants in Afghanistan since the war in the country, was handed over to U.S. Special Operations forces on Saturday, in exchange of the freedom of five Taliban detainees.
The Taliban detainees were released from Guantanamo Bay prison and flown to Qatar, reports said.
"The soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was handed over to U.S. Special Operations forces inside Afghanistan about 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, by a group of 19 Taliban," The New York Times reported quoting officials.
The US soldier has spent nearly five years in captivity during the war in Afghanistan.
Speaking about the soldier's release on Saturday evening, US President Barack Obama said :"His parents thought about him and prayed for him every single day, as did his sister Sky, who prayed for his safe return. He wasn't forgotten by his community in Idaho, or the military, which rallied to support the Bergdahls through thick and thin. And he wasn't forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind."
Sharing the stage with Sgt. Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani, Obama commended the service members who recovered Sgt. Bergdahl, saying that they "performed with extraordinary courage and professionalism, and they've made their nation proud."
He went on to affirm that the top priority now is "making sure that Bowe gets the care and support that he needs, and that he can be reunited with his family as soon as possible."
The President also expressed his gratitude for the "tireless" work of American diplomats, and for the cooperation of the governments of Qatar and Afghanistan in helping to secure Sgt. Bergdahl's release.
"I also want to express gratitude to the Afghan government, which has always supported our efforts to secure Bowe’s release. Going forward, the United States will continue to support an Afghan-led process of reconciliation, which could help secure a hard-earned peace within a sovereign and unified Afghanistan," Obama said.
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