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Two US Soldiers 'Captured by Taliban' in Afghanistan


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UK Telegraph:

Two US soldiers 'captured by Taliban' in Afghanistan
The Taliban has captured two US soldiers in eastern Afghanistan, a spokesman for the Islamic insurgents said.

By Philip Sherwell in New York
Published: 4:51PM BST 24 Jul 2010

American officials separately confirmed that two US soldiers serving with Nato forces were missing, but did not comment on the Taliban claims.
In the eastern Afghanistan province of Logar, local radio broadcast offers of a $20,000 reward for information that led to the safe release of the pair.

"Early this morning two coalition personnel went missing," the announcement said. "They are believed to have been captured by insurgents somewhere in Logar province.

"They may have been separated from one another or maybe in the process of being moved to another location."

A Taliban spokesman said that three servicemen with the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had been captured but one had died. He did not give further details.

The soldiers were tracked and ambushed in a shoot-out by Taliban fighters as they drove through Logar in a four-wheel drive armoured vehicle, according to the account of a local Afghan chief.

He also thought that one of men may have been killed and the other captured.

Samer Gul, district chief of Charkh district in Logar province, said Saturday that the vehicle was seen on Friday night by a guard working for the district chief's office. The guard tried to flag down the vehicle, carrying a driver and a passenger, but it kept going, Mr Gul said.

''They stopped in the main bazaar of Charkh district. The Taliban saw them in the bazaar,'' he said. ''They didn't touch them in the bazaar, but notified other Taliban that a four-wheel vehicle was coming their way.''

The second group of Taliban tried to stop the vehicle. The insurgents opened fire and the two occupants in the vehicle shot back, he said, adding that one may have been killed and the other taken hostage by the Taliban.

''Maybe they wanted to go to Paktia province or to the American base, but they came down the wrong road toward Charkh,'' Mr Gul said. ''They didn't pay any attention to the police. Otherwise we could have kept them from going into an insecure area and now this unfortunate incident has happened.''

Military officials could not confirm the district chief's account.

In the radio broadcast one of the missing men was described as about six foot tall and weighing 15st 10lbs with blond hair and brown eyes. The other was described as 13st 8lbs, bald with a thin moustache. Both men have tattoos, the broadcast said.

"Coalition forces are offering $20,000 reward for any information that leads to the successful return of these two," the statement said, without identifying the men.

A Nato statement said later that two ISAF service members left their compound the previous day in Kabul but did not return. A search is under way for them.

The statement did not identify the pair by nationality but US officials said they were Americans.

There is believed to be only one other ISAF soldier being held by the Taliban, who released a video of him last Christmas.

Meanwhile, five US troops died on Saturday in two separate roadside bombings.The two unnamed US personnel were wearing standard military camouflage, according to the radio report.
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Meanwhile, five US troops died on Saturday in two separate roadside bombings.


Prayers for them and their families.

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