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U.S. Soldiers Missing In Afghanistan Reportedly Dead

5 July 2005 -- The U.S. military is not commenting on reports by news agencies that two members of an elite U.S. military team that went missing near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border last week are now known to be dead.

U.S. Colonel Jim Yonts today said only that "a search and recovery operation is continuing" in the area of Konar
Province, where the team went missing on 28 June during an anti-militant operation.

A U.S. helicopter sent to aid the team was shot down the same day, killing all 16 U.S. soldiers aboard.

Konar Governor Asadullah Wafa has said a U.S. air strike in the province on 1 July had killed 17 civilians, including
women and children.

The U.S. military said an unclear number of "enemy terrorists and noncombatants" had died in the strike on what
it called a known terrorist target.