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Published: Thursday January 16, 2014 MYT 4:35:01 AM
Updated: Thursday January 16, 2014 MYT 4:35:49 AM

New video surfaces of U.S. prisoner from Afghan war

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new video has surfaced showing Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier captured by militants while stationed in Afghanistan more than four years ago, the soldier's family said on Wednesday.

"Today we learned that a new video of our son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has been distributed by his captors," Bergdahl's family said in a statement distributed by the Idaho National Guard.

"As we have done so many times over the past four and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father," Bergdahl's family said.

Bergdahl was stationed in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan when he disappeared under unclear circumstances on June 30, 2009, about two months after arriving in Afghanistan.

U.S. efforts to free Bergdahl, the only U.S. soldier from the Afghan war known to be held by militants, have so far not been successful.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. military had viewed a video showing Bergdahl, who is believed to be held by Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan, alive.

There was no immediate confirmation of when the video was recorded or how it was obtained.

Colonel Steven Warren, a spokesman, said only that the Pentagon was "aware of reports of the video." The Pentagon said the U.S. military was working to see that Bergdahl could return home safely.

Bergdahl's family addressed the soldier directly in their statement.

"BOWE - If you see this, continue to remain strong through patience," they said. "Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!"

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Missy Ryan; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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