Military dog 'taken in SAS mission'

First published in National News © by

A British military dog captured by insurgents in Afghanistan is believed to have been taken during an SAS mission.

The Taliban said the dog was taken during a battle around a month ago in Laghman province, to the east of the capital, Kabul.

The Ministry of Defence has not commented on reports, but a spokeswoman for ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force) confirmed that a military working dog went missing late last year during a mission.

ISAF would not confirm whether the animal belonged to British forces, but the information is believed to have been confirmed at a Pentagon briefing.

The dog is believed to have been taken during an operation - reportedly carried out by British special forces - just before Christmas, east of Kabul.

The operation is thought to have been the same occasion that saw the death of Captain Richard Holloway, from the Royal Engineers.

The 29-year-old, from County Durham, who reportedly served with the SAS, was killed as a result of enemy fire while on operations east of Kabul on December 23.

He was described by his family as an " an exceptional young man'' who ''embraced life to the full''.

In a video of the dog released by the Taliban via email - in which a voiceover said he was being called Colonel - the animal can be seen on a lead attached to a harness while long-haired men bearing guns stand around.

Zabiullah Mujahid said the dog was being looked after and was in good health.

Military working dogs are used by troops in Afghanistan both for force protection and for carrying out searches.

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