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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

US negotiators holed up in embassy in Qatar had doubts to very end about Bergdahl's release

WASHINGTON - Right up until the moment Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed, U.S. officials weren't sure the Taliban would release the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan in exchange for high-level militants.

It was touch and go. But then came the call at 5:12 p.m. Saturday on a secure phone line at the U.S. Embassy in Doha (DOH'-hah), Qatar (GUH'-tur): Bergdahl was aboard a Delta Force helicopter headed for a U.S. base.

According to a State Department official directly involved in the negotiations in Doha, U.S. officials there thought the final days of negotiations with the Taliban's political leadership — through Qatari intermediaries — had gone pretty smoothly. But they weren't positive the deal would work until they got that call.

It's still unclear exactly what the breakthrough moment was.

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