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December 1, 2001
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US forces intensify hunt for Osama, Mullah Omar

The United States forces stepped up their offensive against Kandahar, amidst reports that Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden was holed up in caves to the east of the southern Taleban stronghold.

Some reports also suggested that the Taleban was conducting negotiations with the Northern Alliance for surrender.

Addressing the media vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace said the situation in Kandahar was 'fluid' and refused to hazard a guess on the number of Taleban and Al Qaeda fighters inside the city.

"There has not yet been a major ground offensive battle," he said.

"There are, we know, negotiations going on between the opposition forces and the Taleban leadership for surrender. We do know for certain that this fight will continue until Kandahar is, in fact, a free city, as is the rest of Afghanistan -- or the majority of Afghanistan right now," Pace said.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ruled out any deal with the Taleban for a safe passage to the militia's spiritual leader Mullah Omar.

"Now, let there be no doubt, we would want all, each, every single senior Taleban leader," Rumsfeld said.

"We would want Al Qaeda people not to be set free," he said.

"We would want them not released into other countries where they can continue to perpetrate terrorist acts. And we would do everything reasonable to see that we had access to those people, first to interrogate them and find out who they are and, second, if they are people that we believe we want, to actually get physical custody over them," he said.

He said the United States had not taken custody of any captured Al Qaeda or Taleban leaders so far and had not yet worked out procedures for detention and trial of prisoners by US military commissions.

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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