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Captured US soldier alive in video

A new video released by the Taliban shows the only known US serviceman held captive in Afghanistan still alive after nearly 18 months.

Bowe Bergdahl had bags under his eyes and what appeared to be an cut on his left cheek.

The video - the fourth since 24-year-old Bergdahl was captured nearly 18 months ago - was released by IntelCenter, a private, US-based organisation that tracks Islamic extremist activities and communications.

His parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, have not commented throughout the ordeal, but Idaho National Guard said they had confirmed that the man in the video was their son.

"It's been an extremely difficult year and a half. Without any concrete news, everyday brings more challenges. They do continue to take some comfort in the support they've gotten, from the community, their family and friends," said a spokesman.

It was not clear when the video was made.

Bergdahl, who is shown on the tape wearing Afghan-style clothes, has been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009, when he disappeared in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan.

According to IntelCenter, another man in the video appeared to be the Taliban commander who had once threatened to kill the soldier.

The video, which also shows militant attacks in Afghanistan, was released by Manba al-Jihad, a video production group affiliated with the Taliban. Bergdahl appears only briefly in the video and is not the main focus.

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