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Coalition Offensive Against al-Qaida, Taleban Fighters Continues in Eastern Afghanistan - 2002-03-02

One American soldier has been killed and an unspecified number of others wounded in fighting against al-Qaida and Taleban forces regrouping in eastern Afghanistan. At least two allied Afghan soldiers have also been killed.

U.S. military officials say the casualties occurred in a coalition offensive against al-Qaida and Taleban fighters who had been regrouping south of Gardez in eastern Afghanistan.

The assault began late Friday and is continuing. A military spokesman says the attack is being carried out mainly by U.S.-backed Afghan forces. The spokesman gives no other details.

But word of the assault follows the disclosure by a top military spokesman on Friday that U.S. forces had been monitoring a build-up of hundreds of hostile forces in the area.

The fighting underscores the Pentagon's assertion that the war against terrorism in Afghanistan is far from over.