Taliban video shows Bergdahl release


by William Cummings, USA TODAY


Posted on June 4, 2014 at 6:33 AM

The Taliban released a video Wednesday it says shows their handover of former prisoner Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces.

The 17-minute video shows Bergdahl dressed in white robes being led from a pickup truck as what appears to be a Black Hawk helicopter lands.

Taliban fighters waving a white flag are seen shaking hands with men dressed in Western civilian clothes as Bergdahl is handed over and then taken aboard the helicopter.

Several armed Taliban members are seen on the surrounding hillside as the handover takes place.

"Don't come back to Afghanistan," one man tells Bergdahl, according to a translation by the Associated Press. "You won't make it out alive next time," the man adds as some of the others laugh.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the the video was being reviewed and added that there was no reason to doubt its authenticity.

"Regardless, we know the transfer was peaceful and successful, and our focus remains on getting Sgt. Bergdahl the care he needs," Kirby said Wednesday.

Bergdahl is currently in stable condition at a military hospital in Germany.

Bergdahl, 28, was released in exchange for five Taliban commanders who were being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar described the release of the five Taliban officials from Guantanamo as a significant achievement for the movement, in a statement released to the AP. The Taliban said the exchange was greeted with "great happiness and joy,


Contributing: The Associated Press