Former Taliban prisoner Bergdahl to return to active duty

Washington : US soldier Bowe Bergdahl, a prisoner of war of the Taliban for five years, has completed therapy to help him recover from his prolonged isolation and is expected to return to “regular duty” as a soldier this week, the defence department said Monday.

The 28-year-old soldier has been assigned to the army’s north headquarters at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.

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“Sgt. Bergdahl has completed the final phase of his reintegration process,” Efe cited a Pentagon spokesperson as saying.

The soldier spent six weeks at a military hospital in San Antonio.

Bergdahl will live in barracks at Fort Sam Houston and will be constantly accompanied by two soldiers who will help him re-adapt to normal life.

He was released in May after being held captive by the Taliban for five years in Afghanistan and in rural areas of western Pakistan.

The sergeant, who was promoted from the rank of private during his captivity, was released in exchange for five Taliban members who had spent more than 10 years in the military prison at the US Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba.

The army has opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance from the base in Afghanistan in 2009, due to suspicions that it could have been voluntary.