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News - Afghanistan

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Search is underway for the soldier who is believed to be the first to have gone missing since a US Army sergeant was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago, a military spokesman said Friday.

The soldier was among the 1,560 troops from the former Soviet republic of Georgia serving in the country, US Army Maj. Martyn Crighton said.

A statement from Georgia's Defense Ministry on Thursday said an intense "search and rescue" operation was being mounted in Helmand and Nimroz provinces, describing the soldier as a military officer who went missing on Wednesday.

The last known coalition soldier to go missing was US.Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was taken prisoner on June 30, 2009, in Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan and has not been freed.

Eighteen Georgian soldiers have been killed since the country joined the international military operations in Afghanistan in August 2009.

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