Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai has invited coalition military forces to stay as long as it takes to eliminate the threat posed by al-Qaida and Taleban holdouts.
During a two-hour visit to Bagram air base Saturday, Mr. Karzai met with the commanders of American and British coalition forces, and toured a Spanish-run hospital set up to treat sick and wounded Afghans. Mr. Karzai praised the multinational force for helping his war-torn country free itself. He also promised there would be no break in the hunt for groups and individuals who still pose a threat to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the "Washington Post" (newspaper) quotes U-S officials as saying nine senior al-Qaida members have been killed and three others captured since the beginning of the U-S -led war in Afghanistan. But the report also says the whereabouts of another 15 on a Pentagon list of most-wanted terrorist leaders are still unknown.
The newspaper says two former Taleban movement leaders have been killed and four captured, while 21 are unaccounted for. The report also says the Pentagon has declined to release a list of those being sought. U-S military officials have declined to confirm or deny the report.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, officials with the International Security Assistance Force say gunshots struck a wall near a group of German peacekeepers on Friday. A spokesman says the German troops were not injured and did not appear to be a target of the gunfire. The spokesman also says the shots appeared to come from the direction of a compound housing Afghan Northern Alliance forces. The incident is under investigation.