Sunday, July 25, 2010

Missing in Afghanistan

To date, this blog has focused on Americans known to be missing in Iraq.

On Friday, two American Navy servicemen were captured by a Taliban 'faction' in the Logar province south of the Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. Also missing for over one year in Afghanistan is a US Army Private, Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho.

CNN is now reporting the body of one of the US Navy service members - reported as killed during a firefight - has been recovered with their vehicle.

Taliban negotiating over captured Navy personnel in Afghanistan
By Laura King, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2010
A Taliban faction that said it had killed one U.S. serviceman and captured another offered to exchange the slain man's body for an unspecified number of insurgent prisoners, an Afghan official said Sunday.

The two Americans, identified by Western officials as U.S. Navy personnel, were last seen Friday in a dangerous part of Logar province, south of the Afghan capital. A massive ground and air search by NATO and Afghan forces was underway, with the men's photos plastered at military checkpoints and a reward offered for information about them.
Local officials: 1 of 2 abducted U.S. service members killed
By Matiullah Mati, CNN, July 25, 2010
Den Mohammad Darwish, the spokesman for the governor of Logar province, said he learned from locals that the service member was killed. Hesaid the body was found in the Patanak Mountains of Charkh district. He also said the vehicle the men were driving was located Sunday.

A Taliban spokesman confirmed that the killed American died in a firefight and the other is being held by the group.
UPDATE: Remains of both men have now been recovered. The identities of the US military personnel are Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley of Wheatridge, Colorado and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jerod Newlove of Renton, Washington.

Sincere condolences to the friends and families of both men.

Local sailor's body recovered in Afghanistan
AP, with Hal Bernton, Susan Gilmore and Maureen O'Hagan, Seattle Times, July 29, 2010

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