Bergdahl says he was tortured by Taliban captors

The men were released on May 31 and flown to Qatar in exchange for U.S. army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

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U.S. army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl told military officials that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

It is difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl provided about conditions of his captivity in the hands of the Taliban. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl was saying while being treated at a U.S. military medical facility in Germany.

Bergdahl was released a week ago after nearly five years in captivity.

Bergdahl is not yet emotionally prepared to return to his family, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Meanwhile, the five leading Afghan militants freed from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the U.S. soldier pledged to honor an agreement between the Taliban and Qatar, which is hosting them, according to Agence France-Presse.

The men, officials in the Taliban regime driven from power by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, were released on May 31 and flown to Qatar.

In reaction to their release, some U.S. politicians said the men could pose a threat to Americans abroad, and anger from Afghans opposed to the Taliban.

However, the men said they would remain faithful to an agreement with Qatar, which mediated their release.

“We want to reassure all sides that we are still holding to the agreement which was reached between the Islamic Emirate (the Taliban) and the government of Qatar on our release,” they said in a statement posted on their Pashto-language website on Friday, urging the release of fellow Taliban militants held in Guantanamo.

Qatar claimed it will impose a one-year travel ban on the men.

U.S. President Barack Obama is facing intense scrutiny over the deal to secure Bergdahl’s release after five years.

Qatar had set up a process to monitor the prisoners and the U.S. would also be “keeping eyes on them,” Obama said admitting however that it was possible some of them could return to activity “detrimental” to the United States.

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