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U.S. Aircraft Hit Zawar Kili Complex Again

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2002 – U.S. aircraft continued to hit the Al Qaeda base at Zawar Kili Jan. 8, U.S. Central Command officials said.

Two Air Force F-16s and a Navy F/A-18 hit buildings at the terrorist camp. The aircraft struck the area at 10 a.m. and noon Afghan time.

Zawar Kili, in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan, has proved to be more extensive than previously thought, CENTCOM officials said. Al Qaeda used the camp as a logistics base, a command and control center and a training ground. DoD officials said there are at least two areas in caves or tunnels and one set of buildings. Strikes have hit armored personnel carriers, tanks and other Al Qaeda war materiel.

CENTCOM officials said the number of Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees under U.S. control has risen to 368. Officials said there are 306 in Kandahar, 38 at Bagram air base, 16 at Mazar-e Sharif and eight aboard the USS Bataan. Officials said they will begin shipping some detainees "soon" to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Officials said members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky., are still arriving in Kandahar. The soldiers are taking over the airfield and detention facility there from U.S. Marines. The troopers will also take over other missions the Marines performed in the area, such as scouting and providing force protection.

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