US condemns video of soldier missing in Afghanistan

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The Independent Online

The US military today denounced the release of a video showing a soldier captured in Afghanistan, saying the images were Taliban propaganda that violated international law.

Military spokesman Captain Jon Stock said the man in the video was the missing soldier, whose name has not been released. The military says he went missing in late June.



"The use of the soldier for propaganda purposes we view as against international law," Stock said. "We are continuing to do whatever possible to recover the soldier safe and unharmed."



The US military has been distributing leaflets this week seeking his release. The soldier is the first US service member believed to have been captured in Afghanistan since 2002.



In the video, portions of which were available on the internet video sharing site YouTube ( YouTube.com), the soldier appeared with his head shaven and a slight beard, wearing traditional gray, loose-fitting Afghan shalwar kameez clothing.



"Well, I am scared. I'm scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner," the soldier says.



"I have my girlfriend, who is hoping to marry. I have my grandma and grandpas. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America."



In other clips, the soldier appears to be in good health and is shown occasionally eating. The video is cut in places, but a voice can be heard in the background prompting him at times.



At one point the voice says in English: "Any message to your people?"



"Yes. To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them: you have the power to make our government bring them home," the soldier says.



"Please, please bring us home so that we can go back to where we belong and not over here wasting our time and our lives."

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