Video from the Afghan Taliban appears to show its latest captive looking somewhat down in the hands of its foreign kidnappers. Wearing a working vest and tied on a chain, “Colonel” keeps his reddish-brown ears back, perking them only when he hears something.
Colonel is a military dog.
The video showing the captive Belgian Malinois breed was posted by the group on Twitter Wednesday, according to The Washington Post. At times, the dog does wag his tale.
“Allah gave victory to the mujahideen!” the Post translated from one of the group members. “Down with them, down with their spies!”
According to the Post, the dog was captured in late December after U.S. forces and the Taliban exchanged fire in Laghman, Afghanistan.
“The mujahideen valorously put tough resistance against the troops for hours,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the Post Thursday. “The dog was of high significance to the Americans.”
NBC News reported that Mujahid added, “the Americans tried their best to get it back but they did not succeed.”
Watch the footage:
Lt. Col. Will Griffin with the International Security Assistance Force confirmed to the Post that a dog was lost during a mission in December, but he wouldn’t comment further. The BBC reported that its sources said the dog was working with British forces.
According to the Post, this could be the first canine captive.
“I don’t remember seeing a dog used as a hostage,” Rita Katz, co-founder of the Search for International Terrorist Entities Institute, told the Post.
Kevin Dredden, who was a former military dog handler now working for the training company AMK9, told the Post this dog’s handler is likely “devastated” at the loss.
Dogs have a long history in the military and can be used to help scout out explosive materials and narcotics.