Bowe Bergdahl handover video released by the Taliban

Sgt Bergdahl's release happened in just ten seconds after five years in captivity

Click to follow
The Independent US

The Taliban has released a video showing the handover of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl to US special forces in eastern Afghanistan, in a smooth exchange that took place in just ten careful seconds.

In the video, Sgt Bergdahl can be seen sat in traditional Afghan clothing sitting in a pick-up truck parked on a hillside. The camera shows him blinking and listening to his captors as they speak to him.

A Black Hawk helicopter then lands and two Taliban fighters, one carrying a white flag, lead Sgt Bergdahl half way. He is greeted and taken by three Western-looking men in civilian clothing to the helicopter, where soldiers in Army uniforms are waiting.

Sgt Bergdahl was held captive by the Taliban for five years before his release.

The US Army has said it may still pursue an investigation that could lead to desertion charges against him, after he was handed over on Saturday in exchange for the release of five detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility.

Members of Sgt Bergdahl's unit and military officials have complained that his decision to leave his base unarmed put his fellow soldiers in danger and that some were killed in missions that included looking for him.

President Barack Obama has also faced criticism over the terms of his release but has insisted the prisoner swap was justified.

"We don't leave our men or women in uniform behind and that dates back to the earliest days," Mr Obama said at a news conference in Warsaw.

“Our main priority is making sure the transition that he’s undergoing after five years in captivity is successful,” he later added.

Sgt Bergdahl is currently being cared for in a military hospital.