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Father of Soldier Captured by Taliban Pleads for Son's Release

Majid Saeedi/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The father of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier being held captive by the Taliban, released a statement on YouTube Friday pleading for the safe release of his son in the wake of the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden.

"Our son is being exploited. It is past time for Bowe and the others to come home," said Robert Bergdahl in a video statement posted online.

In the three-minute message, he addresses the Pakistani military and thanked the Taliban commanders holding his son.

"Strangely, to some, we must also thank those who have cared for our son for almost 2 years," said Bergdahl. "We understand the rationale the Islamic Emirate has made through videos ... our son's safe return will only heighten public awareness of this."

He asked the Pakistani Army, which has been fighting the Taliban in the border region, to help secure his son's release.

"Our family knows the high price that has been paid by your men in the Army and Frontier Corps. We give our condolences and thanks to the families of those who have fallen for Pakistan."

The statement follows a video released by the Taliban earlier in the week featuring a 10-second clip of Bowe Bergdahl being blindfolded and led away by his captors. The appearance is the fifth time the Idaho-born U.S. soldier, now 25, has been seen since he was captured in June of 2009 along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Army spokesman Colonel Thomas Collins said that officials were studying the video and could not confirm if the shots were new or different than what had been released in previous videos.

Bergdahl was lured from his post in eastern Afghanistan by several Afghan National Army soldiers on June 30th, 2009 and then taken by Taliban fighters in a nearby village, according to a senior Pentagon official. Bergdahl was reportedly then moved to Pakistan.

At the time of his capture, Bergdahl was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska before deploying to Afghanistan. He was promoted to Specialist while in captivity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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