U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan are investigating Taliban claims that they have captured a dog from a military unit.
Militants released video Thursday showing a dog they claim to have captured from American forces fighting in Afghanistan.
The U.S.-led International Assistance Security Force confirmed a dog had gone missing. The nationality of the dog was unclear, with U.S. military officials in Washington saying it belonged to a British unit. Britain’s Ministry of Defence said it was still investigating.
Surrounded by bearded insurgents, the sheepish-looking, reddish-brown canine is pictured being held on a lead by a long haired man, wearing a harness holding a small camera on its back.
The video was uploaded to a jihadist website.
Its new master was also filmed showing off what appears to be a GPS tracking device on its back along with other weapons taken during the raid, during which they claim to have killed six Americans.
"This dog was very important to the Americans," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told NBC News. "Once we got this dog, the Americans tried their best to get it back but they did not succeed.”
He said that the dog was captured during a raid in the Laghman province to the east of the country’s capital, Kabul on December 23.
Special forces in the country often take dogs on missions with them to sniff out explosives and weapons, while tiny cameras on their backs are used to check inside buildings, while others are used for protection. They are mostly German Shepherds, Labradors or Spaniels.
Lt. Col. Will Griffin from ISAF said Thursday: "At this point I can confirm a military working dog went missing after an ISAf military mission on Dec 2013."
His colleague ISAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Laurie Arellano added: "We are aware of media reports and we're looking into it."
A military official told NBC News that the dog was from a British military unit.
Four years ago, an Australian bomb-sniffing labrador named Sabi was recovered by a U.S. Special Forces soldier 18 months after it was lost in Afghanistan.
NBC News' Akbar Shinwari and Mushtaq Yusufzai contributed to this report.
First published February 6 2014, 7:44 AM