RealNews

G.I. Hunt for Qaeda Intensifies

About 1,000 American troops backed by attack helicopters mounted a dawn assault on a string of mountain villages and caves in southeastern Afghanistan today, sending a forceful message to militants here that coalition forces would not be slackening their pace as the war in Iraq gets under way. Special Forces and a battalion from the 504th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, were dropped into the region at 6 a.m. from Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, a military spokesman said today. Apache attack helicopters provided security, he said. The operation, named Valiant Strike, was aimed at several villages and caves in the Sami Ghar mountain range, in the Maruf district of Kandahar province, some 20 miles from the Pakistani border. “There are suspected people in the area,” said Master Sgt. Richard Breach, a spokesman at the coalition headquarters here at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul. Full Story

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