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US probes soldier's capture in Afghanistan

US forces in Afghanistan are investigating how an American soldier held by the Taliban disappeared from a military base, while pursuing a massive manhunt for the private, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

world Updated: Jul 24, 2009 15:14 IST

US forces in Afghanistan are investigating how an American soldier held by the Taliban disappeared from a military base, while pursuing a massive manhunt for the private, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, 23, was officially listed as missing-captured on July 3, three days after he failed to turn up for duty. But the circumstances of his disappearance are unclear.

US military officials originally said he walked off an outpost in eastern Afghanistan. But in a video clip posted online at the weekend by his captors, Bergdahl says he was snatched while on patrol.

According to a statement picked up by the US-based monitoring service SITE Intelligence, Taliban militants claimed the soldier was drunk.

"The circumstances of his disappearance are certainly being looked at," a US military spokeswoman in Kabul, Christine Sidenstricker, told AFP.

"Any time something like this happens we're certainly going to investigate how and when it happened to try to make sure that we have appropriate processes in place, and rules and procedures are followed."

She was unable to give any details of the investigation or any preliminary findings, but said the hunt for the soldier continued.