The Taliban are claiming a military working dog as a prisoner of war, the Washington Post reports.
This week, a Twitter user who generally disseminates Taliban propaganda posted a video of what appears to be a captured US war dog. The dog appears mostly confused, and wags its tail at some points, as around it Taliban fighters celebrate their apparent victory.
Military dogs are frequently used in Afghanistan for their ability to smell out bombs and their usefulness as forward scouts.
According to Funker 530, a veterans’ community site, the dog’s vest contains sensitive technology, including a GPS tracker and a camera. Coalition weapons were also reportedly captured along with the dog.
It is not currently known exactly how the Taliban could have pulled off this capture. A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claims that the dog was captured after a lengthy firefight late last December in Laghman Province.
Ernesto Londoño, reporting for the Washington Post, writes:
Lt. Col. Will Griffin, a spokesman for the international military coalition in Afghanistan, confirmed Thursday in an e-mail that the force lost a military working dog during an operation in December. He did not provide further details.
Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, said officials could think of no prior instance in which a military working dog had been taken captive.
Also featured in the video are two M4 assault rifles outfitted with scopes that are commonly used by U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan.
The capture of this dog might mark the first time in the history of war that an animal has been held as a prisoner of war. Indeed, the only other time dogs have been featured in propaganda was when Iraqi insurgents mulled over the idea of using dogs as unwitting suicide bombers.
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