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NATO combat dog ‘in Afghan Taliban custody’

AP, AFP-JIJI

The Taliban said Friday they have captured a military dog belonging to NATO forces in Afghanistan, releasing a video of the canine in a high-tech harness.

Insurgent spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Friday that the dog was captured during a battle about a month ago in Laghman province, east of Kabul.

The insurgents sent by email a video, uploaded on their website Wednesday and later on Facebook, showing a brown dog held on a leash by a Taliban fighter. It wore a black harness with pouches to carry equipment and mounted with what the Taliban said was a video camera. A voiceover said the dog was being called “Colonel.” It is seen wagging its tail and later perking its ears as the militants begin chanting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”).

The NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan confirmed Friday that one of its military dogs went missing during a mission in December. It gave no other details.

The Taliban claim the dog was captured from U.S. forces, but Western defense sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was from the British military.

Mujahid said Colonel is alive and well, adding that his fate would be determined later. Dogs are seen as unclean creatures by some Muslims and viewed with suspicion by the Taliban.