x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Taliban take US serviceman prisoner

Insurgents say they killed one of two US service members who went missing two days ago and have captured the other.

KABUL // The Taliban have said they have killed one of two US service members who went missing two days ago and have taken the other prisoner. A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid said today that the two wandered into an insurgent-controlled area on Friday. Taliban fighters opened fire, killing one and capturing the other. Mujahid made no mention of any offer to exchange the pair for Taliban prisoners. Local Afghan officials say an offer to hand over the body was made through intermediaries. The Afghans say they insisted on discussing the fate of the survivor too.

When the two went missing, coalition forces launched a manhunt by ground and air. Nato sources said the two were Navy personnel. Afghan officials in Logar province, which borders Kabul to the south, said the two were driving an armored sports utility vehicle when they were captured in Matinai, a village in the Charkh district. A spokesman for Logar's governor, Din Mohammad Darwish, said the area is "totally under control of the enemy". Kidnappings of US troops in Afghanistan are rare. One American soldier, Specialist Bowe Bergdahl, from Idaho, has been held captive since June 2009. * AP