Fort Bragg soldiers missing

November 7, 2009 4:07:03 PM PST
Two paratroopers from the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne - based out of Fort Bragg - are missing in Afghanistan. Authorities say they vanished Wednesday during a re-supply mission in western Afghanistan.

"Our forces in Afghanistan have been doing everything possible to relocate them and bring them back," said Major Brian Fickel of Fort Bragg. "Our forces in Afghanistan are conducting a thorough search and rescue mission."

Major Fickel says the two unidentified soldiers were doing a routine resupply mission, recovering bundles that were dropped by parachute. That is when they vanished.

Reuters News Service reports the Taliban claims the paratropers died, and they recovered their bodies. Fickel says - not so.

"No, there's no reason to believe that at this time," Fickel said. "We don't have that information currently and again, we're doing everything we can to get them back."

There are also reports more than 25 NATO and Afghan troops were wounded early Friday while searching for the paratroopers.

NATO officials released a statement today, saying, "All available resources are being used to find the two missing paratroopers. Our rear deatchment is doing everything they can to support the families during this difficult time while we continue to search with our Afghan and coalition partners."

Major Fickel says both families live in this area.

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