Taliban offer to free U.S. soldier

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

AP: The Afghan Taliban are ready to free a U.S. soldier held since 2009 in exchange for five senior operatives being held at Guantanamo Bay.

The offer to exchange U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for the Afghan detainees came as an Afghan government spokesman said President Hamid Karzai is now willing to join planned peace talks with the Taliban — provided that the Taliban flag and nameplate are removed from the militant group's newly opened political office in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar. Karzai also wants a formal U.S. statement supporting the Afghan government.

Bergdahl, 27, of Hailey, Idaho, is the only known American soldier held captive from the Afghan war. He disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and is believed held in Pakistan.

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