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Valley Public Radio Staff
Sun February 23, 2014
Taliban Break Off Negotiations On U.S. Soldier Held Since 2009
The Afghan Taliban said it was cutting off talks with Washington to trade long-time captive U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five of the prisoners held at Guantanamo.
The Associated Press says it's received via email "a terse Pashto language statement" from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid blaming the "current complex political situation in the country" for suspending the discussions.
The AP says a U.S. official confirms that the talks have been suspended.
In January, the Taliban released a "proof of life" video of Bergdahl. Prior to that, he had not been seen since another such video was released in February 2011.
As we reported at the time of the latest video release:
"He was 23 when he was seized as he finished a guard shift at his outpost in southeastern Paktika province on June 30, 2009. Today, he would be 27. The AP says he's believed to be held in Pakistan."
"The Taliban have demanded the release of several of the group's senior operatives held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for freeing Bergdahl."