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Hospital check-up for freed US soldier Bowe Bergdahl

By AP Reporters

A US soldier freed in Afghanistan after being held for nearly five years by insurgents has arrived at an American military hospital in Germany.

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl arrived at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre in south-western Germany yesterday morning.

The hospital said its staff "will evaluate his condition, begin any necessary medical care and assist in his recovery process".

The hospital added there was "no pre-determined amount of time" for the reintegration process.

Sgt Bergdahl was freed by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay. He was handed over to US special forces by the Taliban on Saturday night, in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

Officials said the exchange was not violent and the 28-year-old was in good condition and able to walk.

"While Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten," President Barack Obama said in a statement from the White House Rose Garden, where he was joined by Sgt Bergdahl's parents.

"The United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind."

The circumstances surrounding Sgt Bergdahl's capture remain something of a mystery.

There has been some speculation that he willingly walked away from his unit, raising the question of whether he could be charged with being absent without leave, (AWOL) or desertion.

His father said his son was having trouble speaking English after learning Pashto, the language spoken by his captors.

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