Taliban-held U.S. soldier released in exchange for Afghan detainees...
Taliban fighters released the sole remaining American military hostage Saturday morning to a team of U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan, who quickly hustled him onto a helicopter. Once airborne, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl scribbled the letters â€śSF?â€ť on a paper plate, seeking confirmation that he was with Special Operations forces.
â€śYes!â€ť one of the troops hollered back above the din of the aircraftâ€™s blades, according to a defense official who described Bergdahlâ€™s first moments of freedom. â€śWeâ€™ve been looking for you for a long time.â€ť
Bergdahl, 28, who had been held captive nearly five years, broke down in tears.
His release was secured after the Obama administration, working through Qatari government intermediaries, agreed to free five high-profile Afghan inmates held by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The influential commanders, including the former head of the Talibanâ€™s army, were loaded onto a U.S. military aircraft bound for Qatar after U.S. officials got confirmation that Bergdahl had been freed.
Bergdahlâ€™s â€śsafety and health were both in jeopardy,â€ť and officials had to act quickly to obtain his release, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday, according to the Associated Press.