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SLUG: 2-287409 Afghan Fighting
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE= 03/10/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-287409

TITLE=AFGHAN FIGHTING (S ONLY)

BYLINE=GARY THOMAS

DATELINE=BAGRAM

CONTENT=

VOICE AT:

INTRO: More U-S troops were taken out of the fighting in eastern Afghanistan, Monday, in what military officials say is a slackening off of combat activity. But, they emphasize the operation continues. V-O-A Correspondent Gary Thomas reports from the U-S military base at Bagram.

TEXT: More U-S troops were airlifted out of the rugged Arma Mountains to the Bagram base, Monday. The soldiers arrived looking tired, but happy to be back in the relative safety of their home base.

U-S military spokesman Major Bryan Hilferty says there has been a marked dropoff in combat engagements with the dug-in Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters.

// HILFERTY ACTUALITY //

In the past four days, we have not received accurate or sustained enemy fire. The al-Qaeda and Taleban extremists seem to be in much smaller pockets now -- not large concentrations as we saw the first few days.

// END ACTUALITY //

But, Major Hilferty added, Operation Anaconda -- as it has been dubbed -- continues.

/ HILFERTY ACTUALITY //

The hunt continues. Anaconda continues. The war in Afghanistan is not over.

// END ACTUALITY //

Eight U-S soldiers and an unknown number of allied Afghan fighters have been killed since the operation began, March Second. (signed)

Neb/gpt/wd



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