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Prisoner swap causes row on Capitol Hill

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Prisoner swap causes row on Capitol Hill


The exchange of five Taliban militants for the freedom of one US soldier has caused a row in the US Congress .

The five Guantanamo detainees, who have now been transferred to Qatar, have been described by Republicans as “ high risk people” and the president as “negotiating with terrorists”.

It’s something US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has denied:

“We didn’t negotiate with terrorists. As I explained before, Sgt Bergdahl is a prisoner of war. That’s a normal process in getting your prisoners back.”

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is now in a US military hospital in Germany after being held for nearly five years in Afghanistan.

His delighted parents realise it is going to take time for their son to readjust.

“We haven’t called him on the phone,” said Bergdahl’s father Bob. “There is a reason for that and that’s because Bowe has been gone so long, that it is going to be very difficult to come back. It’s like a diver going deep on a dive, and has to stage back up to decompression.”

At his home in Idaho locals are waiting to welcome him back. Bergdahl was the only known missing US soldier in the recent Afghan war.

Republicans are asking if the prisoner exchange to secure his return has been a price worth paying.

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