DoD Identifies Three Troops Killed; Can't Confirm Results of Afghan Talks
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2001 Pentagon spokesperson Victoria Clarke identified the three Army Green Berets killed Dec. 5 when a B-52 dropped a 2,000-pound bomb too close to their position.
The dead are Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis, 39, of Clarksville, Tenn.; Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Henry Petithory, 32, of Cheshire, Mass.; and Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser, 28, of Frazier Park, Calif. They served in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Ky. Their remains are en route to the United States via Ramstein Air Base, Germany. U.S. Central Command is investigating the incident.
Two of the soldiers died outright while the third died while being flown to medical treatment. Nineteen other Army and Air Force special operations troops were injured, Clarke said. She noted that four of the wounded Americans have now returned to work.
Five Afghan fighters died outright and nearly 20 were injured in the accident. A sixth Afghan being treated aboard the USS Bataan has died, Clarke reported. Eight injured opposition fighters were flown by helicopter to the USS Peleliu and 10 were flown to the USS Bataan in the Arabian Sea.
On another front, she said DoD couldn't confirm the validity of reports that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is willing to give up. DoD knows conversations are going on between Taliban leaders and others in Afghanistan, but doesn't know how they're going or outcomes," Clarke told reporters during a morning press briefing in her Pentagon office.
Pressed for details, Clarke told reporters, "I don't want to get in the middle of conversations taking place now, but we've made it clear that we have no interest in Omar being able to go free and continue to wreak the kind of havoc and terror that the Taliban has been doing."
Clarke said even though there are reports and some evidence that some Taliban and Al Qaeda senior leadership may have been killed in the last few days, "we don't have names, titles or any solid confirmation. There are scattered reports and information about what's happening on the ground."
Clarke said 148 sorties were flown Dec. 5, mainly against cave and tunnel complexes near Jalalabad and Kandahar. Two C-17 cargo aircraft dropped 34,440 Humanitarian Daily Ration packets near Kandahar. There were also two Commando Solo broadcast sorties and leaflet drops.