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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Report on American Casualties in Afghanistan Apparently Untrue

Aired July 26, 2002 - 13:30   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.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now, we have been bringing you a story, some breaking news not long ago about seven American soldiers being killed, 14 others injured in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan.

Our Jamie McIntyre joins us now live from the Pentagon. Understand the Pentagon is saying they have no knowledge of this -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it appears that this story is not true. It was reported by Abu Dhabi television, which claimed that seven Americans had been killed, 14 injured, and an additional number, four, had been kidnapped. Now, this would be a pretty sensational story for the Pentagon. It immediately set off alarm bells as the U.S. begin to check with the U.S. Central Command. They began to run this down. They have nothing to substantiate that this story is true, in fact they now believe it is completely inaccurate, that none of these events happened, including the description on Abu Dhabi television of helicopters being shot down. So, at this point, after checking with the appropriate authorities and through the chain of command. The Pentagon is denying that any of these events took place. They say they do not know the source of how these rumors got started, except that they were originally reported by Abu Dhabi television and then transmitted over the wires by the Reuters news service -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Jamie, what do you know about Abu Dhabi television?

MCINTYRE: Well, not a whole lot, but you know, if something were to happen in Afghanistan, it's not likely that that would be the fist place we would hear about it, although in this day of global communications, anything is possible. So, you know, we would have heard something from the ground. Commanders would have heard something there through the regular chain of command. So, once they began to look into this, it pretty quickly didn't check out.

PHILLIPS: Jamie McIntyre, live from the Pentagon. Thanks, Jamie.

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