Coalition soldiers raid compound for al-Qaida, Taliban leaders

Saturday, May 25, 2002

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Coalition soldiers got into a shootout early Friday after they raided a compound intelligence sources said was a refuge for senior Taliban and al-Qaida leaders. One person was killed and some 50 others were captured, U.S. military officials said.

"Items of intelligence value were found," along with weapons and a large amount of cash, said Capt. Steve O'Connor, a spokes-man for the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

No coalition soldiers were hurt in the raid, said Maj. A.C. Roper, a U.S. military spokesman at the base in Kandahar.

Officials were trying to determine the identities of the detainees. "We don't yet know exactly who we have," O'Connor said.

Two other suspected members of al-Qaida or Taliban were wounded in the raid, which began at 1 a.m. and stretched over eight hours. The compound is west of the city of Kandahar.

Roper said 150 soldiers were involved in the mission -- half from the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne based in Fort Campbell, Ky., and half from special operations forces. He would not specify whether other countries contributed troops.

Roper said experts were evaluating the confiscated items.

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