01092015Headline:

Dumb Taliban Celebrate Prisoner ‘Victory’

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has issued a rare public statement hailing the exchange of five Guantanamo Bay detainees for a Taliban-held US soldier as a “big victory”.

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, 28, was handed to US forces in Afghanistan on Saturday.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has defended the exchange amid criticism Congress was not given 30 days’ notice before the detainees were released.

He said the US had to act quickly to save the soldier’s life.

Sgt Bergdahl, who is said to be in good condition and has been flown to Germany for more treatment, was the only US soldier being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire Afghan Muslim nation,” said Mullah Omar, who has made no public appearances or speeches since fleeing Afghanistan in 2001 when US-led forces toppled the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks in the US.

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