UPDATE: US Soldier's Family Welcomes Afghan Taliban Offer

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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UPDATE: Thursday, June 20, 2013

Family members of an American prisoner of war captured four years ago in Afghanistan say they're encouraged by news that the Taliban is ready to free him in exchange for five senior operatives imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

Col. Tim Marsano with the Idaho National Guard has been acting as media liaison for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's family since the Idaho man was captured on June 30, 2009.

Marsano says he's been in touch with Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, several times this week. He says they're aware of the possibility of the exchange and they're encouraged by it.

The family isn't giving interviews, but Marsano said Bergdahl's parents do plan to speak at an event honoring the soldier in Hailey on Saturday.


The Afghan Taliban say they are ready to hand over a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

A Taliban spokesman, Shaheen Suhail, says U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl "is as far as I know in good condition."

Suhail spoke in an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press from the newly opened Taliban offices in Doha, Qatar.

Bergdahl disappeared in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

Shaheen says "first has to be the release of detainees," and after that, the Taliban "want to build bridges of confidence."

He offered no details on Bergdahl's current whereabouts.

He spoke as the U.S. is scrambling to save talks with the Taliban after angry complaints from President Hamid Karzai.

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