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Military

02 March 2002

Coalition, Afghan Forces Attack In Eastern Afghanistan

(In heavy fighting, one American, three Afghans are killed) (420)
The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) headquarters in Tampa announced on
March 2 that U.S. and coalition forces, along with anti-Taliban Afghan
forces, have attacked al-Qaida and non-Afghan Taliban forces south of
Gardez in eastern Afghanistan beginning in the evening of March 1.
Fighting has been intense at times, according to two CENTCOM
statements. Enemy forces are located in caves in the area, which is in
the Paktia province. One American and three anti-Taliban Afghan
soldiers have been killed, according to the statement.
The full text of both statements follows:
(begin text)
NEWS RELEASE HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
MacDill AFB, Fla.
March 2, 20002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AFGHAN AND COALITION FORCES STRIKE AL-QAIDA/TALIBAN FORCES IN EASTERN
AFGHANISTAN
MACDILL AFB, FLA. -- At approximately 9 p.m. EST [2 a.m. March 2 GMT]
yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces began fighting al-Qaida
terrorists and non-Afghan Taliban south of Gardez.
This mission involves Afghan and coalition service members, but the
main effort is the Afghan forces led by General Zia, General Kamal
Khan Zadran, and General Zakim Khan.
U.S., coalition and Afghan forces have sustained casualties. Initial
reports are that one U.S. service member and two Afghan Forces have
been killed. An unspecified number of U.S. and Afghan Forces have been
injured.
More information will be made available when possible.
March 2, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AFGHAN, COALITION AND U.S. FORCES CONTINUE ATTACK ON AL QAEDA/TALIBAN
FORCES IN EASTERN AFGHANISTAN
MACDILL AFB, FL -- Operations continue south of Gardez in Afghanistan.
Firefights have been intense at times in heavy combat actions. The
exact size of the enemy forces occupying a series of cave complexes is
not known. To date more than 80 pieces of ordnance have been dropped
from aircraft in support of Afghan, U.S. and coalition forces. Afghan,
U.S. and coalition forces are involved in eliminating al-Qaida and
non-Afghan Taliban fighters in the area.
There has been one U.S. service member and three Afghan forces killed.
An unspecified number of U.S. and Afghan Forces have been injured.
The weather has been cold and terrain is snow-covered and mountainous,
ranging from 2,500 meters high at the valley floors to 3,500 meters at
the mountain peaks. Once the combat phase of the operation ends,
coalition civil and humanitarian affairs teams will continue in Paktia
province.
(end text)
      



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