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US Condemns Taliban Video of Captured American Soldier

The U.S. military is denouncing the release of a video of an American soldier held hostage by Taliban militants in Afghanistan, saying to use a soldier for propaganda purposes is against international law.

U.S. officials confirmed the man in the video is U.S. Army Private Bowe Bergdahl, who went missing on June 30 from his base in eastern Paktika province. They say the U.S. military is doing everything it can to secure his safe return.

In the 28-minute video, posted on a Taliban Web site, the soldier appeared in good health. He said he was scared that he would not be able to go home and urged Americans "to make the U.S. government bring its soldiers home."

Also Sunday, a civilian helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing 16 people and injuring five others.

NATO officials said a Russian-built Mi-8 helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from Kandahar's main air base.

In northeastern Kunar province, a U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing. A U.S. military spokeswoman, Lt. Commander Christine Sidenstricker, said no enemy fire was reported near either incident.

In violence Sunday, a suicide bomber killed three people, including two police officers, at the main border crossing with Pakistan in eastern Nangarhar province.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.