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
• 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
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