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Final Missing SEAL Team Member Found; Four Bagram Detainees Missing

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2005 – Coalition forces have found the body of the final member of a Navy SEAL counterterrorism team who had been missing since June 28, military officials in Afghanistan said today.

The location and disposition of the servicemember's remains indicate he died while fighting off enemy terrorists on or about June 28, a coalition spokesman said. Officials said there was no evidence to support a statement from a purported Taliban spokesman that the sailor had been beheaded by Taliban members.

The remains of the final missing sailor were recovered during a combat-search-and-rescue operation July 10 in Kunar province.

One team member was found alive July 3; two members died in action before their bodies were found July 4.

The sailor's name is being withheld until notification of his next of kin.

In other Afghanistan news, officials announced today that four detainees are missing from the coalition detention facility at Bagram Air Base, prompting an extensive search.

The detainees were reported missing at about 5 a.m., and search operations began shortly thereafter. U.S. military helicopters are assisting ground units with search efforts.

Local government officials are working with U.S. forces to search the surrounding area. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, officials said.

Elsewhere, a second group of detainees was released from coalition detention facilities July 9 as part of the Government of Afghanistan's Takhim-e-Solh, or "Strengthening Peace" program.

Seventy-six participants were released. They were given a medical examination, given their personal effects and transferred from coalition custody to the government of Afghanistan. They were transported to the Takhim-e-Solh commission office in Kabul to be registered in the program and allowed to return home under the supervision of tribal elders.

A total of 199 detainees accepted participation in the program. The first group of 57 was released July 2. The rest of the participants will be released in the near future, officials said.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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