U.S. airstrikes help subdue prison riot

Monday, November 26, 2001

WASHINGTON -- American airstrikes helped subdue an uprising by Taliban prisoners of war at a fortress in northern Afghanistan, U.S. military spokesmen said Sunday. Hundreds of the foreign Taliban prisoners were killed, but U.S. military forces were all accounted for, Pentagon officials said.

The U.S. Central Command, which oversees the war in Afghanistan, declined to say if U.S. forces were in the fortress when the fighting broke out. But a German television crew at the scene of the fight taped a U.S. special forces soldier calling in U.S. airstrikes on the fortress near the city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

The U.S. soldier, who identified himself only as David, is shown on the video from Germany's ARD network. "I don't know how many Americans there were," he said on the tape. "I think one was killed, but I'm not sure."

A Pentagon spokesman said later that no U.S. military personnel were killed in the uprising.

The Taliban fighters, who had been captured near Kunduz, carried concealed weapons and tried to fight their way out of the fortress, said a Pentagon spokesman.

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