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Defense Department: proof of life video obtained showing captive U.S. soldier

The U.S. Department of Defense acknowledged Wednesday it has received a video that contains footage of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

By JC Finley
U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was taken captive by members of the Haqqani network, an affiliate of the Taliban when he was based in Afghanistan in June 2009. On January 15, 2014, U.S. officials acknowledged they had obtained a new video containing footage of Bergdahl with a reference to December 2013 events, suggesting the captive soldier may be alive. (<a class="tpstyle" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USA_PFC_BoweBergdahl_ACU_Cropped.png">CC/U.S. Army</a>)
U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was taken captive by members of the Haqqani network, an affiliate of the Taliban when he was based in Afghanistan in June 2009. On January 15, 2014, U.S. officials acknowledged they had obtained a new video containing footage of Bergdahl with a reference to December 2013 events, suggesting the captive soldier may be alive. (CC/U.S. Army)

The U.S. Department of Defense acknowledged Wednesday it has received a video that contains footage of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

According to a U.S. military official who discussed the video with CNN, Bergdahl appears in a video dated December 14, 2013. In the clip, Bergdahl appears to be in "diminished health." It is the first such proof of life video in three years.

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U.S. officials said that the video was stored on a thumb drive that was intercepted in early January. In the video, Bergdahl references the December 5, 2013 death of South African former President Nelson Mandela. He was described by officials as appearing "frail" and "shaky."

Bergdahl's family last heard from their son in June 2013 when they received a letter they believe he wrote that was delivered by the Red Cross.

The Obama administration and the Taliban have engaged in talks regarding Bergdahl's release, with the U.S. offering in 2012 to release five Taliban prisoners to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl. The current status of the negotiations is not known.

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[CNN] [NBC News]

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