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Posted: 3/3/2002 9:11:43 PM EDT
U.S. Troops Come Under Fire in Eastern Afghanistan Sun Mar 3,11:11 PM ET ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - U.S. troops stationed at an airport in the eastern Afghan city of Khost came under rocket and light weapons fire early on Monday, a Pakistan-based news agency reported. The private Afghan Islamic Press (AIP), quoting unnamed sources, said U.S. forces returned fire and called for air strikes. There was no word on casualties. The unidentified attackers were believed to have fled by the time U.S. planes bombed areas east of the airport from where the attack was suspected to have been launched, AIP said. Khost is close to the Pakistan border and Paktia province, where a U.S.-led offensive is fighting remnants of the Taliban and al Qaeda network of fugitive militant Osama bin Laden.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 9:16:33 PM EDT
Meanwhile, US/Afgan ground attacks have resumed in the mountains:
U.S. Says Fighting Is 'Intense' in East Afghanistan Sun Mar 3, 3:00 PM ET By Caren Bohan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and Afghan troops were involved in "intense" fighting against al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan on the second day of a major attack by coalition forces, U.S. officials said on Sunday. "The operations continue and we're still seeing some pretty intense firefights," said Col. Rick Thomas, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida, which is responsible for the war in Afghanistan. The attack on Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, who have regrouped after earlier defeats, is the biggest joint ground offensive by the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan allies since the war began in October. Reports from the region said that up to 5,000 al Qaeda and Taliban soldiers were involved in the combat but the Pentagon put the number in the hundreds, rather than the thousands. "We believe it is several hundred," said Maj. Ralph Mills, another spokesman for U.S. Central Command. A statement from Central Command issued on Sunday said the ground forces were supported by strike aircraft, bombers and AC-130 gunships. "Aircraft have targeted vehicles, mortars, enemy troop locations, caves and anti-aircraft artillery sites," the statement said. WEEKS OF PLANNING A U.S. soldier and three Afghan troops have been killed in the fighting, south of the town of Gardez in Afghanistan's eastern Paktia province. The American soldier was the second U.S. serviceman killed by enemy fire in the war. The Pentagon said there have also been injuries but has not said how many there were. In the latest statement, U.S. Central Command said none of the injuries were life-threatening and that some of those treated for wounds had already returned to combat. The statement said no U.S. aircraft have been shot down but some helicopters were damaged by enemy fire. The attack, which began early on Saturday, was launched after weeks of planning, according to the U.S. military. "We have been watching this area for several weeks now," said Mills, who added that the United States was using "several types of aircraft" in the combat. Keeping up the assault on Sunday, U.S. planes rained bombs on the al Qaeda and Taliban positions. "It's a fierce firefight," Richard Shelby, a top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the ABC Sunday talk show "This Week." Referring to the al Qaeda and Taliban troops, Shelby said: "There's a good many there. They're heavily armed. And they're trying to disrupt everything we're going to do. If we don't go after them now and destroy them now, it will get worse." President Bush launched the U.S. military campaign in October to rid Afghanistan of the al Qaeda terror network led by Osama bin Laden and drive his Taliban protectors from power. The United States blames bin Laden for masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan were routed in December but pockets of fighters have regrouped. Bin Laden's whereabouts remain a mystery.
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Now wheres Geraldo when you need his sorry ass? All the journalists were bitching about access access access- and now when there is real fighting they arent even in the damn COUNTRY much less anywhere near the fighting.
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