U.S. Soldier Feared Kidnapped in Afghanistan
U.S. official: a U.S. soldier is feared to have been captured by the Taliban.
July 2, 2009 — -- A U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan has been captured and is believed to be in militant custody, according to U.S. officials in Kabul.
The soldier was apparently captured by Taliban forces in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday, though none of the militant groups operating in the area have claimed responsibility for the capture.
Officials also tell ABC News that all available assets are being used to find and locate the soldier, whose family has been notified of his situation.
The Pentagon has withheld his name from the public, not wanting to reveal information that could aid the insurgents who are holding him.
The captured soldier is a young infantryman who was stationed at a remote outpost in Paktika Province, which is along the border with South Waziristan, a hilly region in northwest Pakistan.
He was discovered missing when his bulletproof body armor and rifle were found at the base.
The military has not been in direct contact with his captors, but he is presumed to have been captured because of intercepted Taliban communications indicating he is under the group's control.
He is believed to be the first American soldier captured in Afghanistan.
Few details about the circumstances of his capture have been released officials say, to protect the soldier's safety, including whether anyone else was with him. It would be "highly unusual" that the soldier would be alone off base in Afghanistan, says ABC News' Martha Raddatz.
An Afghan police official told The Associated Press the soldier went missing in the Mullakheil area of eastern Paktika province during the day Tuesday. There is an American base in the region, the official said.
Taliban spokespersons in Afghanistan Qari Yousif Ahmadi and Zabiullah Mujahid both told ABC News they had no information on the whereabouts of the soldier. A number of insurgent organizations operate in eastern Afghanistan, including the Taliban.
This is the first U.S. military person captured since June 2006, when two soldiers were taken and then slaughtered south of Baghdad.