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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Special Operations Forces Member Discusses Friendly Fire Casualties

Aired December 8, 2001 - 10:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's bring you some live pictures now from Landstuhl, Germany. Some members of Special Operations Forces involved in Wednesday's so-called "friendly fire accident" in Afghanistan, which resulted in the death of three Green Berets and the injuries of 19 other Special Operations Forces. Some of the injured and some of the medical personnel are talking to reporters now. Let's listen in for a bit.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: ... shortly after getting into Afghanistan, we worked to coordinate humanitarian assistance drops for the towns that needed blankets and food. We worked with the Afghani (sic) soldiers to assist them in organizing their forces and shortly, thereafter, we moved in and assisted them in their occupation of the town of Tirimkot.

What happened -- what followed that was probably the highlight of our time in Afghanistan. The town of Tirimkot had declared its allegiance to Hamid Karzai's movement. And approximately, six hours after we arrived in the town with the opposition force, the Taliban had dispatched about 500 soldiers and 80 vehicles to move to Tirimkot with the express purpose of putting down the insurrection.

The soldiers were ordered to slaughter women and children, kill the men and set an example to put down the opposition. As I said, our detachment along with the Afghani fighters who arrived there about six hours of them and through coordination of setting up the Afghani fighters and defensive fighting positions and through close air support strikes were able to destroy the Taliban that tried to come into the town of Saka (ph).

And I think following that we started to develop a very close and a very good relationship with the fighters that we were working with. We developed a mutual respect, a mutual trust.

QUESTION: How many Afghan soldiers were there that you were working with?

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: I don't want to comment on that at this time.

QUESTION: Tirimkot, can you spell Tirimkot. UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: T-I-R-I-M-K-O-T. The way you'll see it spelt, you know, about 40 different ways if you look at 40 different maps.

O'BRIEN: All right, we've been listening to a live press briefing from Landstuhl, Germany. Members of U.S. Special Operations involved in that friendly fire incident on Wednesday, which killed three, injured 19; B-52 bombing that caused those injuries and those fatalities.

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