he was wandering around alone?
American soldier believed captured in Afghanistan - Los Angeles Times
The U.S. military releases few details about the apparent capture by militants in the east. The soldier has been missing since Tuesday.
By M. Karim Faiez and Laura King
7:59 AM PDT, July 2, 2009
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Istanbul, Turkey -- An American soldier is believed to have been captured by insurgents in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said today.
The soldier has been missing from his unit since Tuesday, said Army Capt. Elizabeth Mathias. Citing concern for his safety, she did not disclose the circumstances of his disappearance, explain how military authorities had concluded that he was being held, or say whether there had been any communication with insurgents about the missing man.
The brief military statement was not definitive about a capture having occurred; Mathias said the soldier was "believed" to have fallen into the hands of "militant forces."
There was no immediate public claim of responsibility from any insurgent group. A number of militant commanders, not all of them affiliated with the Taliban, operate in eastern Afghanistan.
However, the Reuters news agency quoted a senior Taliban commander, Mullah Sangeen, as saying the soldier was captured this week as he left a base in Paktika province on patrol.
If the reports are borne out and an American soldier was seized alive, it would be an unprecedented coup for the insurgents. They could exploit a capture for propaganda purposes or demand concessions such as a prisoner exchange.
Abductions of aid workers, journalists and Afghan nationals are not unusual, but a military official said the soldier's apparent capture was believed to be the first of its kind in the Afghan conflict.
"We are using all of our available resources to establish his whereabouts and provide for his safe return," Mathias said.
Eastern Afghanistan borders Pakistan's tribal areas, and kidnappers have proved able to move captives across the frontier. New York Times correspondent David Rohde, who was abducted in Afghanistan seven months ago, escaped last month from his captors, who had taken him across the border to the tribal area of Waziristan.
American forces in eastern Afghanistan occupy a string of bases in remote, rugged territory near the Pakistani border, some of them large installations and some of them small outposts. It would be very difficult for insurgents to penetrate a base and make a capture.
The U.S. troops routinely patrol roads where insurgents are suspected of planting bombs and occasionally exchange gunfire with militants. The American forces also carry out airstrikes and pinpoint artillery strikes when unmanned aircraft spot hostile activity by fighters.
Most of the American troops in Afghanistan are stationed in the east or in the south, where a major helicopter-borne offensive by Marines is underway. About 4,000 American forces and 600 Afghan troops are taking part in the assault in Helmand province, a center of the insurgency and opium poppy production.
The offensive -- dubbed Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) -- is the first large-scale assault by U.S. forces under the Obama administration's revamped strategy for the Afghan conflict. It is aimed at seizing and holding the lower Helmand River valley, where insurgents have operated freely for years.
he was wandering around alone?
I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.
^ Guess he lost his brain along time ago.
Captured U.S. soldier was 'sold' to local insurgent group; terrorists say they'll release video soon
U.S. troops scoured eastern Afghanistan for a captured American soldier Thursday as thousands of Marines battled the Taliban in the south.
Military officials said low-level militants in Patika province nabbed the soldier and reportedly "sold" him to members of the Haqqani network, a hard-line terror group with ties to the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.
"Our leaders have not decided on the fate of this soldier," a Haqqani commander told Agence-France Press.
"They will decide on his fate and soon we will present video tapes of the coalition soldier and our demand to media."
It is the first time a U.S. soldier has been captured in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001.
The identity of the soldier has not been released to protect his safety as U.S. forces tried to seal off the area to prevent him from being taken to Pakistan.
The soldier's family has been notified of his capture.
"We are using all of our resources to find him and provide for his safe return," U.S. spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said.
In southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold, more than 4,000 Marines swarmed the region in their largest military offensive since the bloody battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004.
One Marine was killed and several others wounded in Operation Khanjar, or Strike of the Sword, which is designed to clear, then hold, a province.
"We are kind of forging new ground here," said Capt. Drew Schoenmaker, of Greene, N.Y., commander of Bravo Co., 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.
The operation is similar to the "surge" in Iraq, where thousands of soldiers pushed out the insurgents, but stayed behind to provide security for the local people ahead of the Aug. 20 presidential elections.
"What makes Operation Khanjar different from those that have occurred before is the massive size of the force introduced, the speed at which it will insert and the fact that where we go we will stay," said Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, the Marine commander in Helmand Province.
Military commanders said they have seen only sporadic resistance - but predicted more violence in the days ahead.
"You come in pretty heavy, with helicopters and stuff, they do not want to test us," said Capt. Junwei Sun, commander of Foxtrot Co., 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines.
"I expect once we settle down they will try something.
"It's always like that. The calm before the storm. Then we take care of the storm."
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