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Rumsfeld: Raid Did Not Kill Terrorists as First Suspected - 2002-02-21


U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says U-S officials have determined that a deadly military raid last month on two compounds in Afghanistan did not kill Taleban or al-Qaida terrorists as first suspected.

The January 23rd raid north of Kandahar killed at least 14 people.

Speaking to reporters (today / Thursday) in Washington, Mr. Rumsfeld said U-S special forces near Hazar Qadam opened fire on one of the two compounds after its occupants fired on the U-S soldiers.

He said Afghans inside the second compound did not fire at the U-S forces, and were taken into custody.

While expressing regret over the deaths, Mr. Rumsfeld said U-S forces on January 23rd had -- what he called -- persuasive and compelling evidence that Taleban or al-Qaida members might be inside the compounds. He also said he could not imagine any U-S troops being disciplined over the firefight or the weeks of intelligence information that led to it.

It has been widely reported that U-S intelligence operatives have paid as much as one thousand dollars in compensation to relatives of those who died in the raids.

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