US recovers body of missing sailor in Afghanistan


Map of Afghanistan’s provinces. Click map to view larger image.

The US military has recovered the body of one of two sailors who went missing last Friday in Logar province in Kabul.

The International Security Assistance Force confirmed today that it “recovered the remains of a missing ISAF servicemember Sunday in eastern Afghanistan after an extensive search.”

The news of the recovery of the sailor’s body was first reported yesterday in Xinhua. In response to an inquiry sent by The Long War Journal yesterday, ISAF would neither confirm nor deny the Xinhua report.

The body of the sailor was recovered in the Charkh district in Logar province, which is just south of the capital of Kabul. “The body was found from Nawshahr village in Charkh district on Sunday afternoon,” the provincial spokesman told Xinhua.

Charkh is a known Taliban stronghold in Logar. The two US soldiers are reported to have accidentally driven into the Taliban-controlled region on Friday after departing their base in Kabul.

The Taliban claim to have captured the other US sailor, but have not released any evidence proving they are holding him at this time.

ISAF launched a search operation in Logar immediately after it was discovered that the sailors failed to report to their destination. ISAF also published flyers and broadcast over the local radio asking for help in recovering the missing sailors and offering $20,000 for information that would help find them.

Over the past several days, ISAF has killed a Taliban fighter and detained two others in Charkh during attempts to locate the soldier. ISAF has vowed it will continue to search for the missing sailor.

“We will continue this effort until our servicemember is recovered,” an ISAF press release stated. “ISAF holds the captors accountable for the safety and proper treatment of our missing servicemember.”

The Taliban hold one other US servicemember captive. For more than a year, another soldier, Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, has been in Taliban captivity. He was captured by the Haqqani Network in June 2009 after leaving his small combat outpost in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika. In early April of this year, the Taliban released a propaganda tape showing Bergdahl.

Bergdahl is being held by the Haqqani Network across the border in the Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan in Pakistan, US military and intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.

Pakistan has resisted US pressure to tackle the Haqqani Network and other dangerous Taliban groups who continue to shelter al Qaeda and launch attacks into Afghanistan.


One ISAF Servicemember Recovered, ISAF press release

Body of U.S. soldier found in Afghan province, Xinhua

2 American troops missing in Kabul as US targets Kabul Attack Network, The Long War Journal

One Suspected Insurgent Captured, One Killed by Afghan-led Forces in Logar, ISAF press release

Two Suspected Insurgents Captured by Afghan and Coalition Forces in Logar, ISAF press release

Taliban release video of captive US soldier, The Long War Journal

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • ArneFufkin says:

    R.I.P. Sailor.

  • Nic says:

    Does anyone know if the vehicle they were using had GPS?

  • m3fd2002 says:

    You don’t need gps to figure which way is north or south especially in Afghanistan. The mountain ridges are clear reference points. They were supposed to go four miles north, they ended up 80 miles south. Something doesn’t fit. They most likely deviated from their official errand for an unofficial errand. That’s as far as I would like to speculate.

  • kp says:

    GPS just tells you were you are and can guide you on a route. But the military doesn’t us “turn by turn GPS”. There’s always a chance you’ll pick the wrong waypoint or a close to incorrect turn off. But if part of that route is (recently) controlled by the bad guys (or they’ve set up an ambush) you can end up in trouble.

    This happens in many conflicts. I recall one example in Northern Ireland in which two off-duty (or intelligence?) soldiers driving a civilian vehicle strayed into a Republican funeral. They didn’t survive.

    One of the killers is a permenant resident in the USA his killing of the soliders apparently “purely political”. Ah, the War on Terrorism.

  • Abu Ghadab says:

    So, now will all the “human rights” groups, the EU, western media, the ICRC, sean penn and anderson cooper, etc be as outraged as they are if a US WARRIOR slaps a terrorist or a captured terrorist is denied breakfast in bed?


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