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December 15, 2001
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300 Al Qaeda fighters surrender

The surrender by over 300 Al Qaeda fighters to Afghan opposition forces in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan in recent days, adding to an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 Taliban prisoners being held elsewhere in the country, and the recovery of valuable material has helped American officials collect vital information about the outfit.

The prisoners are part of what American officials say is an expanding intelligence-gathering operation in Afghanistan in which US special forces and Central Intelligence Agency officers have been examining seized Al Qaeda documents, computer hard drives, videotapes and telephone books.

The material has already produced names and phone numbers of Al Qaeda members in other countries and led to some additional arrests, The Washington Post said quoting senior administration officials.

Scientists from the US nuclear weapons laboratories have joined the military and CIA experts to assist searching the ground of Al Qaeda training camps for signs of actual work on chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, the officials said.

"So far," one senior official said, "no such materials have been found."

However, Defence Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld had said on Thursday that some samples taken from the sites are still being examined.

Meanwhile, several Al Qaeda fighters were captured or killed after putting up a stiff resistance as US and Afghan forces made the first major advance against their last known stronghold on Friday in the Tora Bora caves.

Bodies of 33 Al Qaeda fighters were found while four were captured and at least 50 of bin Laden's men surrendered in fierce cave battles in the thrust by the Northern Alliance forces and a small number of elite American troops.

The forces advanced about two-km on the ground near Tora Bora as US jets and AC-130 gunships attacked the cornered Al Qaeda forces in the cave-pocked mountain valleys.

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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