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December 18, 2001
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US troops to stay in Afghanistan till Laden, Omar are punished

The United States has expressed apprehensions that Al Qaeda and Taliban forces could regroup after a temporary retreat into the mountains and said American troops will stay on in Afghanistan till terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar are punished.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday said that a good deal remains to be done militarily in Afghanistan because Taliban and Al Qaeda forces have only withdrawn into the mountains, where they could regroup.

He said US troops will remain in Afghanistan until Mullah Omar, Laden and senior Al Qaeda leaders are nabbed and punished.

"There is no way to know how long it is going to take to find Omar, Osama bin Laden and senior Al Qaeda leaders and to see that they are punished," he said.

Rumsfeld, after meeting Hamid Karzai, leader of the interim government to take office on December 22, at the Bagram air base near Kabul said he found the Afghan leader anxious to cooperate with the international coalition 'in every possible way'.

On the United Nations-mandated force in Afghanistan, he said, "An international security force consisting of 3,000 to 5,000 troops from four or five countries will be deployed in Kabul and possibly other cities sometime after December 22."

The US will not be part of the security force but will be available to assist with intelligence, lift and quick reaction capability, he said adding the campaign against terror will not end soon because of the need to root out terrorist networks that exist around the world.

PTI

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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