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November 29, 2001
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Top Al Qaeda leaders believed dead: US

The United States on Wednesday claimed several senior Al Qaeda leaders and hundreds of soldiers loyal to them were killed in fresh raids on select compounds in the southern Taleban stronghold of Kandahar.

At a press briefing in the Pentagon, official spokesperson Victoria Clarke said they (US fighter jets) bombed a compound where top Al Qaeda and Taleban leaders were holding a meeting.

The official also hinted at the possibility of Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, the Taleban's supreme leader, being present in the meeting and said a final assessment would be made only after receiving 'all reports'.

"US warplanes struck the compound in rapid response to real-time intelligence that this was a good target," she said.

"They had a confluence of intelligence which led us to believe there was senior leadership in the building," she said.

"We don't have names. We don't have a sense of exactly who was in there," she added.

But she said video footage indicated the bombing caused significant damage.

"The footage indicated that they got a lot of it. The strike was considered effective in terms of the damage it did to the building," she added.

Meanwhile, US forces stepped up the pressure in Afghanistan with the deployment of more marines to a base in the south.

Clarke also confirmed that a CIA officer was killed in the prison revolt at Qala-e-Janghi, near Mazar-e-Sharif.

An agency report quoting US intelligence officials said the US-led bombings have severely damaged Osama bin Laden's ability to communicate both within Afghanistan and with terrorists overseas.

But the same officials warned that thousands of Al Qaeda fighters are still alive in Afghanistan, and have mixed with Taleban fighters willing to fight the Americans.

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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