The Taliban have released a video showing the moment they handed Bowe Bergdahl over to American special forces in Afghanistan.
About a dozen armed men, their faces covered in scarves, wave white flags as they guard a Toyota 4x4 containing the captured soldier, reports UK-base newspaper The Telegraph.
“Don’ come back to Afghanistan,” [sic] reads a caption on the video produced by the Taliban’s media arm.
Sgt Bergdahl, 28, looking relaxed with a blanket draped over his shoulders, is brought out as a Black Hawk helicopter lands in the clearing.
Fixed wing surveillance aircraft fly overhead, the video shows.
Special forces soldiers stay at the aircraft as three men, not wearing uniforms, come forward to receive the prisoner, hugging Sgt Bergdahl, who had been held for almost five years.
It is all over in 10 carefully choreographed seconds, the daily reports.
The exchange is carried out under the watch of militants, armed with rocket propelled grenades, stationed in the hills.
Meanwhile, Sgt Bergdahl’s release has sparked controversy in the US, where his former comrades accuse him of deserting and putting American lives at risk as troops searched for the missing soldier.
Republican critics have also questioned the deal that saw five senior Taliban commander released in return.
The US military has said the circumstances under which Sgt Bergdahl disappeared have yet to be fully investigated, though Pentagon officials have indicated he is unlikely to face charges regardless of what the Army learns of his capture because he has suffered enough.
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