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New Video Shows Captured U.S. Soldier, Idaho Parents Ask For His Release

The U.S. military has obtained a new video showing captured Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl alive. The Idaho native has been a prisoner of the Taliban for the last four and a half years, and his parents in Hailey, Idaho are asking for his safe return.

CNN and NBC say military officials who have seen the video describe Bergdahl as looking frail and shaky. The video is thought to be from mid-December. Bergdahl makes a reference to the death of Nelson Mandela, according to NBC.

The video was reportedly intercepted on a thumb drive and has not been released. But Bowe's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, are aware of the video. In a statement released through the Idaho National Guard, they sent encouragement back to their son: Remain strong.

“Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!” they said.

Bergdahl was captured near his base in southeast Afghanistan at the end of June 2009. Since then, Bergdahl, now 27, has appeared in a handful of Taliban videos. He's the only known prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict.

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.