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Afghanistan: Militants Attack U.S. Camps In East


Bagram, Afghanistan; 20 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Militants attacked U.S. camps in eastern Afghanistan today, using machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars. A U.S. military spokesman, Major Bryan Hilferty, said American soldiers and allied troops returned fire and the exchange lasted several hours with no known casualties.

But U.S. Major General Frank Hagenbeck said it is not clear whether the coalition forces were targeted or were caught up in an internal clash.

The Afghan Islamic Press reported that two airfields were attacked, including Khost's main airport and a nearby U.S. base being used to train Afghan soldiers.

The news agency said tensions flared in Khost yesterday after a shootout between supporters of the Khost governor and rival backers of the local police chief.

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