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Pentagon investigates crash that killed 7

The KC-130 is a combination refueling and cargo aircraft.  


Enemy gunfire that erupted at Kandahar airport as a heavily secured flight left with 20 captive Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, military officials said.

The Pentagon is investigating the crash of a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 refueling/cargo plane in western Pakistan Wednesday. All seven Marines aboard the plane were killed.


U.S. Marines responded to enemy gunfire that erupted Thursday night at Kandahar airport as a heavily secured flight left with 20 captive Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, military officials said. The captives will initially be held in cages at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Full story)

The KC-130 crashed into a mountainside as it prepared to land at a forward operating base in western Pakistan. There was no indication the plane came under enemy fire, the Pentagon said, but that has not been ruled out. Witnesses reported the plane appeared to be on fire when it crashed. (Full story)

U.S. warplanes Thursday bombed the area around a suspected al Qaeda training camp in eastern Afghanistan for a fifth straight day. U.S. military reconnaissance discovered a massive network of caves and tunnels at the Zawar Kili camp, which officials say could cover 30 or 40 acres.

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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The leader of Afghanistan's interim government has dismissed the circumstances surrounding a decision not to hold seven top Taliban government officials who surrendered in Kandahar this week. The men might have now fled the country. In an interview with CNN, Hamid Karzai said four or five of the Taliban officials were not on a list of people the United States wanted detained and another was a case of mistaken identity. In any case, Karzai said, all had agreed to surrender weapons on the condition they not be arrested. (Full story)

Two charities operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been added to the U.S. global terrorist watch list, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. The Afghan Support Committee and the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, neither of which were thought to have assets in the United States, were suspected of having ties to Osama bin Laden, a senior department official said. (Full story)

A federal judge in Virginia heard arguments Wednesday on whether the trial of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui should be televised. She is not expected to rule before next Tuesday. Moussaoui is the only person charged so far in connection with the September 11 attacks on the United States. He could be sentenced to death if convicted of conspiring with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. (Full story)

Turkish soldiers will soon join a growing international contingent of troops in Afghanistan, Turkish military sources said Thursday. (Full story)

The success of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan has led some people in Somalia to wonder whether their country might be the next target of the war on terrorism. U.S. officials have expressed concerned that the war-torn African nation could offer a potential hideout for members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network. (Full story)


Who are the key members of the newly installed Afghan interim government? (Click here for more)

Do the remaining Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan still pose a threat?

Where is Mullah Mohammed Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban?

What kind of permanent government will eventually rule Afghanistan?

How will a multinational peacekeeping force be received in war-weary Afghanistan?

How long will the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan last?

What is the goal of the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan? What is the key to the mission's success?


George W. Bush: U.S. president

Hamid Karzai: A Pashtun tribal leader and the chairman of Afghanistan's interim government.

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks.

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser.

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Gen. Tommy Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command.

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense.

The Taliban: A group of Islamic fundamentalists, mainly from Afghanistan's Pashtun ethnic group, which is the country's largest ethnic group. The Taliban that gained control of most of the country by 1997 and instituted an extreme form of Islamic law.

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban.

George Robertson: NATO secretary-general and former British defense minister.

George Tenet: CIA director


The military attacks that began October 7 mark the start of what the Bush administration says will be a lengthy struggle against terrorist organizations worldwide -- one that could take years.




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