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U-S Raids in Afghanistan Leaves 15 Suspected Terrorists - 2002-01-24


U-S defense officials say at least 15 suspected al-Qaida and Taleban fighters are dead after a fire-fight in southern Afghanistan that left one American soldier slightly wounded.

Pentagon officials say U-S forces detained 27 individuals and moved them to Kandahar for further questioning. The wounded U-S soldier was evacuated for medical treatment.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the raids on two compounds 100 kilometers north of Kandahar show that there are still pockets of Taleban and al-Qaida resistance in Afghanistan.

Mr. Rumsfeld said such raids will continue for some time to come as U-S-led forces systematically root out Taleban and al-Qaida fighters.

He also says the two compounds were believed to hold an unknown number of al-Qaida or Taleban leaders. U-S forces are now trying to determine if any of the new detainees are senior figures.

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and ousted Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar have eluded capture since the fall of the Taleban in Afghanistan. The two men remain the subject of an intense U-S manhunt.

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