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Air, Ground Forces Continue to Hammer Tora Bora

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2001 – U.S. and opposition forces continue to hammer the Al Qaeda stronghold at Tora Bora, Afghanistan, without letup, Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke said this morning.

Clarke said coalition aircraft continue to drop bombs on the cave and tunnel complex south of Jalalabad. The attacks went on unabated Dec. 11 contrary to news reports, she said.

She said there are pockets of Taliban and Al Qaeda throughout the country. Air and ground forces attack these targets as they present themselves. "Where there are targets of opportunity, (coalition forces) will pursue them," Clarke said.

Clarke would not comment on reports that Al Qaeda is set to launch a post-Ramadan attack on the United States. DoD has repeatedly said "September 11 wasn't the only thing that (Al Qaeda) were thinking about," she said. "There have been concerns, and there has been information that lead us to believe that there were other plans, other intents."

However, she said, there is no specific information on possible attacks.

Clarke said coalition aircraft flew 181 strike sorties into Afghanistan Dec. 11. The primary focus continued to be on the Jalalabad and Kandahar regions. Humanitarian runs continued around Kandahar, with a C-17 dropping 17,220 humanitarian daily rations.

Leaflet drops also continued around Jalalabad and Kandahar. Pennsylvania Air National Guardsmen flew Commando Solo missions that broadcast into Afghanistan.

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