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More Detainees Will Move to Gitmo; Actions Continue in Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2002 - The flow of Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees into the holding facility a, Jan. 24, 2002 – WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2002 - The flow of Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees into the holding facility at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will continue as capacity and facilities permit, Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke said today.

Clarke also said that a Navy Muslim chaplain has arrived at the base along with 400 copies of the Koran. The chaplain was assigned for duty with the Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He will take care of any spiritual needs of the detainees.

Four detainees have undergone surgery at the facility for general battle injuries. Clarke said the U.S. military has control of 297 Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees in Afghanistan and 158 at Guantanamo.

Actions continue in Afghanistan. News reports indicate a firefight near Kandahar, but Pentagon officials as a rule do not comment on on-going operations. "We've had activities going on in several parts of the country," Clarke said. "We continue to look for the bad guys and we continue to exploit areas where we've had some activity."

Officials said coalition forces Jan. 23 flew 120 sorties over Afghanistan, but dropped no ordnance. The last strike on a hostile target was Jan. 14, DoD officials said. Coalition forces did drop ordnance on the crashed and stripped Marine CH-53 helicopter south of Kandahar. This was done to destroy the aircraft so it wouldn't fall into Al Qaeda or Taliban hands.

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