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SLUG: 2-287067 Afghan / Pentagon
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=03/02/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=AFGHAN/PENTAGON (S ONLY)

NUMBER=2-287067

BYLINE= ALEX BELIDA

DATELINE=PENTAGON

INTERNET=YES

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: One American soldier has been killed and an unspecified number of others wounded in fighting against al-Qaida and Taleban forces regrouping in eastern Afghanistan. V-O-A Pentagon Correspondent Alex Belida reports at least two allied Afghan soldiers have also been killed.

TEXT: U-S military officials say the casualties occurred in a coalition offensive against al-Qaida and Taleban fighters who had been regrouping south of Gardez in eastern Afghanistan.

The assault began late Friday and is continuing. A military spokesman says the attack is being carried out mainly by U-S-backed Afghan forces. The spokesman gives no other details.

But word of the assault follows the disclosure by a top military spokesman on Friday that U-S forces had been monitoring a build-up of hundreds of hostile forces in the area.

The fighting underscores the Pentagon's assertion that the war against terrorism in Afghanistan is far from over. (Signed)

NEB/BEL/MEM



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