Afghanistan: February 28, 2002

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U.S. special forces have organized and trained two, 500 man, infantry battalions in eastern Pakistan. Providing uniforms, pay and, in some cases, weapons, the special forces have gained the cooperation of several of the local tribes. The tribesmen have been impressed by the combat skills of the American, U.S. and Canadian commandos and are eager to improve their own battlefield capabilities. The two battalions will be used to search the hundreds of Taliban and al Qaeda caves and camp buildings that have not been checked out. Moreover, locals say that many Taliban and al Qaeda are paying tribesmen further up in the mountains to hide them. The two Afghan battalions, and their tribal officers, will provide the special forces with some leverage in getting Taliban and al Qaeda members out of these villages without a major battle. 

Pamphlets have appeared in eastern Afghanistan, calling for Jihad against Western peacekeepers and denouncing the interim government as non-Islamic. 

 

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