Taliban Seize US Soldier, ‘Sell’ to Militant Clan

Unnamed Soldier Believed Held by North Waziristan Militant

It is being reported today that an unnamed US soldier and three Afghan soldiers were ambushed and captured Tuesday by the Taliban in Afghanistan’s restive Paktika Province. The military confirmed that the soldier was missing and believed captured.

One US official later said that the soldier has since been sold to the Haqqani clan, who is now holding him. The US is pressuring tribal chiefs and village elders along the Afghan/Pakistan border to “do the right thing and solve this.”

A Taliban commander, speaking over a satellite phone so as not to reveal his location, claimed that the soldier was captured in the Yusuf Khil district and was drunk at the time. US officials denied the reports, claiming the Taliban were known liars.

Reports now have the soldier in the custody of Pashtun warlord Sirajuddin Haqqani, a militant active in both Paktika Province and Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, and son of Julaluddin Haqqani, a hugely influential militant leader in Waziristan. The Haqqanis have been a popular target of US drone strikes in North Waziristan, which borders the province where the soldier was captured.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.