The Taliban claims to have taken a military working dog as a prisoner in a video where Taliban members show off the dog and rifles supposedly obtained after a firefight with U.S. forces in December.
A NATO spokesman has confirmed U.S. forces have been missing a working dog since December, which adds credibility to the Taliban's claim. However, NATO officials would not confirm if the dog in the video was one affiliated with a coalition unit.
"We can confirm that a military working dog went missing following an ISAF mission in December, 2013. It is ISAF policy to defer identification to the appropriate national authorities," NATO's International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan said in a statement sent to Military.com.
The dog in the video appears to be a Belgian Malinois wearing a black vest held by a group of alleged members of the Taliban. During the video, one of the Tabliban members refers to the dog as colonel, which is a rank they found on the dog's vest.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, told the Washington Post that the dog was captured after a firefight in the Alin Nigar district of Afghanistan's Laghman Province in late December.
A Taliban fighter holds up M4 assault rifles throughout the video that the Taliban supposedly obtained from the firefight with U.S. forces.
U.S. military units, especially Special Forces teams, have used dogs on raids in Afghanistan to sniff out explosives and track targets. Cairo, the military dog that was part of the Osama Bin Laden mission, is arguably the most famous of the working dogs.
These dogs are trained to travel with the special operations units to endure a host of conditions to include jumping out of a plane. The Belgian Malinois is a popular breed for military units. Other popular breeds include German Shepherds and Labradors.