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Rumsfeld Reports Progress in U-S Action - 2001-10-29


U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says U-S military action in Afghanistan is going well, stressing it is "not a quagmire."

Noting the U-S strikes have been going on for just three weeks, Mr. Rumsfeld told U-S television Sunday that "measurable progress" has been made against suspected terrorist targets and the ruling Taleban. Mr. Rumsfeld also said the United States has not ruled out the use of ground troops, but did not say when.

In Afghanistan Sunday, witnesses say U-S bombs hit a residential area of the capital Kabul, killing at least 10 civilians.

In another development, Taleban authorities say they have buried the body of Afghan opposition commander Abdul Haq. Taleban authorities say he was executed Friday after he was accused of spying for the United States -- a charge denied by U-S officials.

Mr. Rumsfeld says Mr. Haq did request U-S assistance before his capture. He said there was a response from the air by an element of the U-S government, which sources are quoted as saying was a C-I-A plane.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is calling on British people to show their "moral fibre" by holding firm in the fight against terrorism.

His comments come amid numerous British media reports commenting on bombing errors in Afghanistan and questions about the progress of the war.

The comments are part of a speech Mr. Blair is set to deliver Tuesday to the Welsh assembly.

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