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Pentagon Says More U-S Ground Attacks Planned in Afghanistan - 2001-10-20


The top U-S military officer says the Taleban can expect more ground attacks in Afghanistan as the U-S-led war on terrorism enters a new phase.

General Richard Myers -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- gave no details Saturday of what is to come. But he said U-S special forces are refitting and repositioning themselves for future raids.

The general said U-S troops encountered no significant opposition from Taleban forces during two quick ground attacks on military targets early Saturday in southern Afghanistan.

He said the soldiers did not expect to find significant Taleban or al-Qaida terrorist leaders as the they parachuted into an airfield and a Taleban command and control center. But he said the troops destroyed arms and ammunition and gathered intelligence.

General Myers would not say if any Taleban or terrorist suspects were captured.

He also said no U-S troops were killed or wounded, but said two soldiers were slightly hurt while parachuting to the ground.

Meanwhile, the Taleban called the U-S operation a failure, claiming to have driven off U-S planes. It said U-S soldiers cannot stand the harsh conditions on the ground in Afghanistan.

General Myers also confirmed that two soldiers were killed and three others injured when a Blackhawk helicopter crashed in Pakistan's Baluchistan province near the Afghan border. He dismissed Taleban claims that the helicopter was shot down. He said the incident is being investigated as a "mishap."

Meanwhile, there were more U-S-led airstrikes on suspected terrorist and Taleban military targets Saturday and early Sunday.

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