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Jets Target Taliban Compound; DoD Awaits Bomb Damage Assessment

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2001 – DoD is still awaiting Air Force bomb damage assessments following attacks on two compounds southeast of Kandahar yesterday where Taliban and Al Qaeda senior leaders were believed to be, DoD spokesperson Victoria "Torie" Clarke told reporters during a morning Pentagon press briefing.

"We don't have names, a sense of exactly who was in there or any sense that Omar (Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar) was there," Clarke said.

However, Central Command officials had said earlier that Omar and his chief aides were known to frequent the targeted buildings. Clarke said video footage indicated the strike was effective in terms of the damage done to the buildings.

Acknowledging 750 to 800 Marines are on the ground in Afghanistan, Clarke said the influx would continue. She said it isn't clear what role the Marine Cobra gunships played in the attack on an armored column of 15 Taliban vehicles near the Marine base, about 55 miles southwest of Kandahar.

Clarke pointed out that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Army Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of the U.S.- led campaign in Afghanistan, have underscored that "there are still a lot things going on in that country, including pockets of resistance and counterattacks in different places."

More than 90 percent of yesterday's strikes were against emerging targets, with activities centering around Kandahar, Jalalabad and south of Kunduz, Clarke said. Some 34,440 humanitarian rations were dropped yesterday, mostly near Mazar-e Sharif.

"We continued dropping leaflets, mostly around Jalalabad and Kunduz and also continued Commando Solo broadcasts," she told reporters.

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