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U.S. Aircraft Hit 4 Afghan Targets; Guantanamo Work Begins

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2002 – U.S. aircraft struck "approximately" four targets in Afghanistan Jan. 6, DoD spokeswoman Torie Clarke said today.

U.S. activity in the country centered around the Tora Bora and Kandahar regions. One of the strikes was against the Al Qaeda staging point of Zawar Kili. U.S. aircraft hit the terrorist training camp and headquarters complex for the third time in a week.

In addition, U.S. military forces have entered and begun searching the Zawar Kili complex, Clarke said. There were no reports of fighting there, she added.

U.S. Central Command officials said U.S. forces at Zawar Kili found armored personnel carriers, munitions and other war materials. Service members on the ground pulled the equipment out of the hiding places, and U.S. fighters, bombers and AC-130 gunships struck the materials.

Clarke said 346 detainees are now under U.S. control. Three hundred are in Kandahar, 21 at Bagram Air Base, 16 at Mazar-e Sharif, and nine aboard the USS Bataan.

U.S. forces will take at least some of these detainees to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Clarke would not comment on the number of detainees to be held there.

U.S. forces continue to work on security arrangements at the base. No date has been set for when detainees may arrive, but U.S. military personnel are going to the base to build facilities and to provide site security.

Clarke said no decisions have been made on trials by military commissions for terrorists. "It's still very much a work in progress," she said. "In spite of what people may tell you, decisions have not been finalized."

How various detainees would be treated is part of the decision-making process, she said. "A big part of the focus now is what the secretary refers to as 'baskets,'" Clarke said. "Which kinds of people go in which 'baskets?' What are the guidelines or criteria used to determine who goes into what category?"

U.S. aircraft continued to drop leaflets. All told, 118 aircraft sorties were flown over Afghanistan Jan. 6.

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