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Sporadic Violence Still Possible in Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2003 – Even though Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the war on terror is "largely over," it doesn't mean his country is suddenly a safe place.

Karzai said that organized resistance by Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists is finished, but sporadic outbreaks of violence still occur. "We have defeated them, but some enemies are still there," he said after a Feb. 27 meeting with President Bush.

On March 1, six or seven men fired on an observation post manned by coalition forces. The post is in Operating Base Salerno in Khowst, southeast of Kabul near the Afghan- Pakistani border. Coalition forces returned fire and called for illumination of the area. There were no casualties on either side.

Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division discovered two caches of weapons as part of Operation Viper in the Baghni Valley. One cache had more than 60 AK-47 rifles, other rifles and assorted ordnance. The troopers also detained 12 men.

Explosive ordnance disposal specialists also destroyed a previously discovered cache of weapons containing more than 60 rocket-propelled grenades and 107 mm rockets.

There are about 9,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan. "While we see progress here, no one is letting their guard down," said a U.S. official in Kabul.

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