2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 15, 2002
A rhai ;n
-Qaida leaders focus of search NEWS IN BRIEF
GTON (AP) - The American military's More than five months into the war and six Bagram air base. "We did not have indications prior to
empnass in Aghanilstan is shitting to the pursuit of
clues to the whereabouts of the most senior al-Qaida
leaders and the possibility of new combat operations
against smaller pockets of resistance rather than
fighting big battles.
Although the al-Qaida appear to have lost the core
of their fighting force, the U.S. military is not relax-
ing. The Army's 101st Airborne Division says 600
soldiers from its 3rd Battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky.,
are heading to Afghanistan to join about 5,000 other
U.S regular and special forces.
The U.S. forces, working with allied soldiers and
Afghans friendly to the American cause, are on the
lookout for remnants of al-Qaida. The goal is to
ensure they are unable to regroup in sufficient num-
bers to challenge the interim Afghan government or
to resume their terrorist training and planning.
months after President Bush said he wanted the top
al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, "dead or alive,"
the military says it has little idea where he is - or
whether he is alive.
There was little expectation that bin Laden would
be found in the Shah-e-Kot Valley, where U.S. and
Afghan forces fought a 12-day battle against al-
Qaida and Taliban fighters. Yesterday, coalition
troops searched abandoned caves for material that
might shed light on al-Qaida and its leaders.
Maj. Gen. Frank Hagenbeck, commander of U.S.
and coalition forces in the Shah-e-Kot battle, said
yesterday the dead were "second and third tier" al-
"The big names that you and I are most familiar
with, however, indications are that they were not in
this valley as we came here," he told reporters at
the attack that they would be here. But we have indica-
tions where they are, and I can assure you that we will
track them down and get them before this is over."
U.S. military officials in Washington said clues to
the whereabouts of senior al-Qaida leaders are gener-
ally not specific enough to act on and sometimes are
Increasingly, Bush administration officials are de-
emphasizing the importance of capturing or killing
bin Laden. Bush said Wednesday the al-Qaida leader,
whom the president holds responsible for the Sept.
11 attacks, had become "marginalized" by the U.S.
military campaign. With the Taliban out of power and
his own al-Qaida fighters defeated or dispersed
beyond Afghanistan's borders, bin Laden has little
opportunity to plan, organize or execute terrorist
attacks against Americans, Bush said.
AA U.S. bombs
.tr .f1 1' MI '
Violence ensues despite peace talks
An American envoy launched a new attempt yesterday to forge a
Mideast truce amid the bloodiest period in 18 months of Israel-Palestinian
fighting, and the United States pressed Israel to pull its soldiers from
Israelis and Palestinians said they are ready to work with U.S. evnoy
Anthony Zinni, but violence persisted. Israeli forces patrolling two West
Bank towns killed five armed Palestinians in gunbattles and two militiamen
in a helicopter attack in Gaza, while Palestinian militants set off a bomb
under an Israeli tank, killing three soldiers.
Each side warned it would keep fighting if the other did not end the vio-
lence. The Palestinians demanded that Israel withdraw its troops from
Palestinian towns, while Israel said Palestinian militants must stop attacks
Beginning his peace mission against the backdrop of Israel's largest military
operation since the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Zinni was to meet with Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon later yesterday.
Palestinian officials said Zinni, whose past two Mideast truce efforts have
failed, would meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat tomorrow.
Saeed Sheikh charged for death of reporter'
%,ZILG S anl
CHOKER KARAIZ, Afghanistan
(AP) - The stricken old man could
barely walk through the rubble of his
village. The vision of the torn bodies of
women and children was still too real
in his mind's eye.
"Every time I walk through here, I
see the scene all over again," Moham-
mad Qasin said yesterday.
Villagers say 52 people, mostly
women and children, were killed in the
bombing and strafing four months ago
that obliterated this isolated hamlet, a
few houses ringed by irrigated wheat
fields among miles of semi-desert
emptiness in southern Afghanistan.
Now the case of Choker Karaiz is
one of dozens of U.S. air attacks for
which survivors have filed claims for
"We don't know. God knows," sur-
vivor Aziz Ahmed said yesterday when
asked why U.S. pilots might have
attacked this tiny, mud-walled place
one night in late October.
The government of Kandahar
province alone has filed more than 70
compensation cases involving U.S. air
attacks with the central government in
Kabul, provincial spokesman Yusuf
Pashtun said Wednesday.
"Hamid Karzai said send them to the
Ministry of the Interior," Pashtun said,
referring to Afghanistan's interim
Pashtun said four cases involved
multiple deaths in Kandahar villages,
withthe biggest being Choker Karaiz,
25 miles east of Kandahar city. The rest
were cases of single deaths or limited
damage here and there in the province,
he said. Others, "hard to prove," were
not forwarded to Kabul, he said.
The provincial spokesman said he
had no information on how the com-
pensation process will work. It could
not be learned immediately whether
the U.S. government would consider
such claims, or whether they would be
handled exclusively by the Afghan
government or by a joint commission.
Maj. Brad Lowell, a spokesman for
U.S. Central Command, said yesterday
he was unaware of any process for
Afghans to make claims against the
The Pentagon has said civilians were
never deliberately targeted during the
bombing in Afghanistan but has
acknowledged that some bombs went
Last month, however, the Pentagon
acknowledged that U.S. Army forces
killed 14 or more Afghans who were
neither al-Qaida nor Taliban members
during a raid in Uruzgan province in
Provincial Gov. Jan Mohammed
delivered $1,000 to $2,000 to each dead
man's family, as well as a verbal apolo-
gy relayed on behalf of high-ranking
U.S. officials he declined to identify.
The Taliban took a group of foreign
reporters to the village in November
and claimed 92 people died there.
Reporters at the time counted about 15
The Choker Karaiz raid is not
among the incidents the U.S. military
is investigating as possibly involving
the killing of civilians, U.S. Central
Command spokesman Lt. Col. Martin
Compton said yesterday.
Peter Bouckaert, a researcher with
the New York-based Human Rights
Watch, independently interviewed peo-
ple in Choker Karaiz in an effort to
establish a civilian casualty toll.
"We believe that at least 25 and pos-
sibly as many as 35 civilians died in
this bombing raid. Often times civil-
ians give random numbers that tend to
be too high but we try to confirm as
many as possible and we were able to
confirm at least 25 here."
Based on the interviews, Bouckaert
learned that the convoy hit was of a
A federal grand jury indicted a Muslim extremist yesterday in the kidnapping
and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The charges carry the
death penalty. Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who is in custody in Pakistan, was
charged with hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking, resulting
in the death of Pearl.
Saeed "methodically set a death trap for Daniel Pearl, lured him into it with lies
and savagely ended his life," Attorney General John Ashcroft said in announcing
the indictment returned in New Jersey.
Authorities also unsealed an indictment that had secretly charged Saeed last
year in a 1994 kidnapping of an American in India. Pearl was kidnapped in Janu-
ary while pursuing a story in Pakistan related to Islamic fundamentalism. A grue-
some videotape made by his captors surfaced after his death.
Pearl leaves behind a widow who is about to give birth to the couple's first child.
"The U.S. has not forsaken your husband nor the values he embodied and cher-
ished," Ashcroft said, addressing comments to Pearl's widow. "The story he died
trying to tell will be told, and justice will be done."
Cheney tours Yemen
to garner support
Vice President Cheney yesterday took
his Middle East tour to Yemen, one of the
countries that administration officials say
has taken the greatest strides since Sept.
11 in cooperating with the United States
in tackling the al-Qaida network.
American concerns about continuing
presence of militant groups in Yemen
were underscored by the exceptional
security measures taken for Cheney's
trip here to the capital. He arrived in a
U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane,
leaving his regular airliner behind in
Egypt along with much of his staff and
most of the traveling press corps and
never leaving the airport before flying
on to neighboring Oman only two hours
But his visit to Sanaa to meet Presi-
dent Ali Abdullah Salih was an impor-
tant endorsement for the Yemeni leader,
who weeks ago asked President Bush
to have Cheney include the country in
indicted in scandal
The Arthur Andersen accounting firm
was charged with obstruction of justice
stemming from its destruction of "tons
of paper" on Enron Corp., the first
indictment in the company's collapse.
The one-count indictment,
announced yesterday, was returned last
week by a federal grand jury in Hous-
ton, where Enron is based, Deputy
Attorney General Larry Thompson
Andersen hlid been given a 9 a.m.
deadline yesterday to agree to plead
guilty. The firm has admitted that some
of its employees destroyed Enron docu-
ments but that top management at head-
quarters in Chicago was unaware.
Andersen said criminal proceedings
were tantamount to a "death penalty"
against the firm, and it accused the Jus-
tice Department of "a gross abuse of
Musharraf appeals to
U.N. for more forces
The war in Afghanistan is "absolute-
ly over," Pakistan President Pervez
Musharraf said here yesterday, and
"whatever remains to be done, I would
call it mopping up."
Musharraf, on a four-day--visit. to
Japan, nonetheless appealed to the Unit-
ed States and international peacekeep-
ing forces to remain in Afghanistan and
increase their authority until the politi-
cal situation there is stabilized.
He said the war in neighboring
Afghanistan "was over when the legiti-
mate government" returned to Kabul.
"The war in its initial sense, when it
started with the Taliban, is absolutely
Musharraf's comments are out of
sync with those of the United States,
which has been loath to declare an end
to the conflict.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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