Afghanistan: March 18, 2002


The US is claiming victory in Operation Anaconda. While no top-level al Qaeda leaders were found, dozens of second-tier and third-tier leaders (the captains, majors, and colonels of the terrorist organization) were killed, and "hundreds of trained killers" are now dead. Hundreds of tons (if not far more) of munitions and supplies were destroyed or captured. The greatest victory, the US insists, is that the largest remaining al Qaeda redoubt, with its largest remaining stockpile of supplies and largest remaining field combat unit, has been destroyed. Only a handful of the guerrillas known to be in the Shahi Kot Valley are thought to have escaped.--Stephen V Cole


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