The Taliban said Friday that they have captured a military dog belonging to NATO forces in Afghanistan, releasing a video of the canine wearing 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 the capital, Kabul.
The insurgents sent a video by email that shows a brown dog, believed to be a Malinois, held on a leash by an armed Taliban fighter. It is wearing a black harness mounted with what the Taliban said was a video camera, and a voiceover said the dog was being called “Colonel.”
Mujahid said by telephone that the dog is being held in a “safe place” in Laghman. “The condition of the dog is okay – he was not injured and is not being mistreated,” he said.
In the video, the dog looks slightly confused as the men surrounding it cheer and shout. “Allah gave victory to the mujahideen,” one of the men exclaims, according to The Washington Post. “Down with them, down with their spies!”
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, but The Washington Post reports that the dog was attached to a British special forces unit that was engaged in a fatal battle on Dec. 23.
Military service dogs are used to sniff out bombs and are also used in special forces raids as protection and to help subdue suspects. Bringing dogs into homes during raids is controversial in Afghanistan because dogs are considered unclean by many Muslims.