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White House: Taleban Lying About American Troop Deaths in Afghanistan - 2001-11-02


The Bush administration has denied Taleban claims of American military casualties in Afghanistan.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters a Taleban spokesman was -- in his words -- "just lying" about claims 70 to 100 U-S troops were killed in combat. Mr. Fleischer made his remarks hours after Qatar-based al-Jazeera satellite television quoted the Taleban representative in Karachi, Pakistan, as making the claim.

The Taleban spokesman also was quoted as saying nearly four weeks of U-S - led air strikes in Afghanistan have failed to harm suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden or Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Meanwhile, U-S B-52 bombers carried out heavy strikes against Taleban front-line and military support positions north of (the capital) Kabul Friday. The warplanes also attacked Taleban positions on hills overlooking the opposition-held Bagram airport.

Opposition Northern Alliance fighters told reporters the latest raids were the heaviest since the United States began using the massive B-52 aircraft to hit Taleban positions in the Shomali plains.

In southern Afghanistan, more than one-thousand armed tribesmen are crossing into Afghanistan from Bajaur, Pakistan, today (Friday) to support the Taleban. The new recruits are joining hundreds of others who crossed the border on Thursday to enlist in the fight against U-S military forces.

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