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More U-S Troops Arrive at a Secret Marine Base in Southern Afghanistan - 2001-11-28


More U-S troops and equipment are arriving at a secret Marine base in southern Afghanistan, as Taleban troops dig through bomb debris of a shattered leadership compound also in southern Afghanistan.

The Marines seized an airstrip within striking distance of the Taleban stronghold of Kandahar in a night-time raid Sunday. They have since been flying in reinforcements every night to build what officials say is a formidable force on the ground. The location of the airstrip is a closely guarded secret.

Pentagon officials say Tuesday's U-S airstrike against two buildings southeast of Kandahar was based on American intelligence indicating that the compound was used by the Taleban and al-Qaida leaders.

But the Taleban said Wednesday its top leader was not injured in the U-S bombing.

The Taleban's former ambassador to Pakistan (Abdul Salam Zaeef) told the Afghan Islamic Press (news agency) that Mullah Mohammad Omar was not inside the compound when it was attacked and that he is safe.

The Taleban official also said his group does not know the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.

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