About 400 U.S. troops have returned from a near weeklong mission probing cave complexes, along the Afghan border with Pakistan, formerly used by al-Qaida and the Taleban.
U.S. military officials at Bagram air base Saturday, said "Operation Mountain Lion" consisted of American soldiers combing the Afghan caves inch-by-inch and removing all relevant information. The troops then used explosives to destroy some of the caves. The search netted documents indicating that the caves were recently occupied by terrorists. The Americans are reported to have encountered no hostility - either from locals or enemy forces.
Meanwhile, Afghan interim Foreign Minister Abdullah says he has seen "undeniable" evidence that supporters of former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar were behind an alleged bomb plot aimed at destabilizing the current Afghan interim administration. Interim Foreign Minister Abudullah added the alleged bomb plot should not further delay the return of former King Mohammed Zahir Shah, who is due back in Afghanistan in mid-April. The king's return last month was postponed because of security concerns.
Mr. Abdullah's comments come after the arrest earlier this week of more than 300 people in Kabul who were believed to be involved in the alleged conspiracy. Afghan officials say the 160 suspects, who are still being questioned, are linked to a hardline Islamic group, Hezb-e-Islami - which has denied any connection. The group is headed by Mr. Hekmatyar, a vocal critic of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. His whereabouts are currently not known.