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November 2, 2001
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More US special forces to infiltrate Afghanistan: Rumsfeld

United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday night said more special forces are 'cocked' and 'ready' to enter Afghanistan to improve US efforts at pinpoint bombing, and to coordinate with opposition forces.

Without mentioning the number of troops he planned sending to Afghanistan, Rumsfeld said three to four times the number of soldiers already present in Afghanistan are ready.

It is estimated that close to 100 US special operations soldiers are in Afghanistan.

He said it is only a matter of the right kind of equipment, and the right landing zones to be decided, before the special forces are sent in.

Rumsfeld revealed that one recent attempt to land US special operations troops was called off after the helicopter-borne troops encountered ground fire, presumably from the Taleban militia.

Other landing teams have been thwarted by bad weather, Rumsfeld said.

He announced he would visit countries on the periphery of Afghanistan this weekend after meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Ivanov, in Moscow on Saturday.

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