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December 14, 2001
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US commando teams to hunt for Osama

The United States has sent snipers and 'snatch and grab' teams to Tora Bora in Afghanistan to assist in the capture of Osama bin Laden, believed to be holed up in the area.

Washington also announced a $10-million reward for information on the Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

The arrival of the highly trained commandos indicated the US believes that bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders have not fled the region and are cornered in one of the heavily fortified cave and tunnel complexes in Tora Bora.

Afghan fighters besieging Tora Bora have also reported recent sightings of bin Laden.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the US will soon offer a reward of about $10-million for information leading to the capture of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, in addition to the $25-million reward on bin Laden's head.

Al Qaeda's forces are holed up in two parallel valleys, with opposition forces fighting their way up from the north and Pakistani forces blocking the border to the south.

This leaves Al Qaeda fighters a choice of either fighting their way out or trying to escape to the east or west over snowy mountain-tops.

Rumsfeld had earlier said on Thursday night that the Pentagon has increased the number of special operations forces in eastern Afghanistan.

"I think it is certainly likely that they could be doing something other than what you characterise as liaison work," Rumsfeld had said.

"We're in a pitched battle over there. There's a lot of fighting going on, and a lot of people exchanging ordnance, and people getting hurt," he had added.

But Rumsfeld had insisted the US military would rather capture bin Laden and other senior al Qaeda leaders than kill them.

"I personally would like to see people surrender," Rumsfeld had said.

"I personally would like to see us get our hands on them and be able to interrogate them and find out about the Al Qaeda networks all across the globe. These people know things. And I'd like to know those things," he had said.

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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