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Pentagon: Five U.S. troops injured in Afghanistan

MAZAR-E SHARIF, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Five members of a U.S. special operations force were injured -- three seriously -- when a U.S. warplane dropped a bomb near them Sunday in an attempt to control a prison uprising, the Pentagon confirmed Monday.

Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke confirmed the friendly fire incident, and U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said all of the injured had been airlifted to Uzbekistan for medical treatment.

"A very small number" of British troops have also sustained injuries in Afghanistan, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said Monday, but he would not provide any other details.

At the prison, U.S. and anti-Taliban forces continued their attempts to quell the bloody uprising by Taliban prisoners Monday, a day after hundreds were killed in the rebellion and the airstrikes that followed.

The revolt began Sunday by about 300 non-Afghan Taliban inside the highly fortified compound near Mazar-e Sharif, occupied by Northern Alliance top Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was not in the compound at the time. The Taliban forces said they were surrendering, but smuggled weapons into the camp and launched a rebellion.

CNN's Alessio Vinci reports Northern Alliance soldiers say most of the Taliban fighters are holed up inside one building but have access to many weapons (November 26)

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Northern Alliance soldiers coming out of the compound Monday said they have lost between 100 and 150 fighters. As many as 400 Taliban fighters were killed, they said, the majority on Sunday after U.S. jets struck the area with precision-guided missiles. The Taliban forces who continue to fight have access to mortars and machine guns and are putting up stiff resistance from inside one building, the soldiers said.

Clarke reiterated that all U.S. military are accounted for, despite Time magazine correspondent Alex Perry's report Sunday that a U.S. serviceman died in the riots. Perry said U.S. special forces told him one of their men was killed inside the compound and they were trying to extract another serviceman.

Bombing raids by U.S. warplanes continued Monday, said Olivier Martin of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Martin estimated that 100 non-Afghan Taliban fighters were left inside the fortress Monday, equipped with guns and ammunition, adding that the situation inside the compound was not under control.

Northern Alliance soldiers fight against Taliban prisoner uprising Sunday.
Northern Alliance soldiers fight against Taliban prisoner uprising Sunday.  

The Taliban who revolted were mainly fighters from Pakistan linked to the al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden. They were brought to the compound as part of a deal to surrender the city of Konduz, about five hours away.

One Northern Alliance soldier leaving the area said he was more concerned about the U.S. strikes than the Taliban.

As a CNN crew approached the compound around midday Monday, there was sporadic but intense fighting inside, with occasional mortar fire hitting the fields surrounding the fortress. Two mortar rounds landed near a CNN and Sky News Television team, injuring the Sky News cameraman on his left leg.

Elsewhere in the city of Mazar-e Sharif, detonations could be heard as fighter jets roared overhead Monday.


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