Hundreds of American Marines and Army troops have been killed in recent days while battling Taliban soldiers and al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan – or so says one anti-Western Islamic website.
According to a Dec. 19 “news story” published at Azzam.com, “reports have come in that a huge explosion of an ammunition dump took place at Kandahar Airport on the morning of … Sunday 16 December 2001,” which resulted in the death or injury of “200 U.S. soldiers.”
The report claimed that U.S. forces assigned to check the “Kandahar Airport and the surrounding areas for mines and booby traps” fell victim to a large radio-controlled bomb exploded
by a “Mujahedin reconnaissance team on the peaks of nearby mountains. …”
“The Mujahedin had wired an extremely large amount of explosives for detonation by remote, radio control. Once a large party of U.S. troops had entered the detonation zone, the Mujahedin exploded the ordnance causing a huge ball of flame to engulf Kandahar Airport,” the report claimed.
A Pentagon spokesman yesterday said he had “no information” from U.S. Central Command substantiating those claims.
So far, the Defense Department has reported a total of three U.S. casualties –all Green Berets who were killed by an errant bomb dropped by a B-52 bomber earlier this month. In addition, the CIA reported the death of agent Johnny “Mike” Spann, who was killed in the prison uprising at Mazar-e-Sharif.
Nevertheless, the Azzam.com report claimed that “after the explosion, the Mujahedin continued to watch the movements of the Americans and they were afraid even to withdraw their dead and injured. The Mujahedin observed injured U.S. soldiers lying on the ground requesting help and water and no one was willing to help them due to their fear of further explosions.”
It said American forces only began evacuating the dead and injured “hours” later.
The Azzam.com site also claimed that 17 U.S. Navy SEALs were killed this week in the Tora Bora region, as they attempted “to reach a position where they believed Mujahedin to be since firing. …”
The report claimed that “the Mujahedin outflanked them and ambushed them from their sides, blocking off their escape routes. They attempted to run but were cut down to the last man by Mujahedin fire.”
The report said the identification as SEALs came from ID cards “found on their bodies,” but Pentagon officials say SEAL team members don’t carry such cards.
Pentagon officials also denied the number of U.S. casualties reported by the website.
The stories posted on the site seem to be an attempt to portray pro-Taliban and al-Qaida troops in a much better light, perhaps to offset the battlefield reality that Osama bin Laden’s forces are losing in Afghanistan – and losing badly.
But embellishment of Taliban and al-Qaida “successes” is not new; the Azzam.com site has been previously identified by WND as a website that promotes Islamic terror and an anti-Western fervor.
“The American government is an enemy to Islam and the Muslims, despite all the sympathetic statements given by (President) Bush when he meets Muslim leaders and organizations in America,” said a recent editorial written by Azzam Publications editor Sheikh Abdullah Assam – a lieutenant of bin Laden.
The site attacked “those apologetic and defeatist Muslims in the West who are making apologetic statements siding with the West and not believing or supporting their own brothers.”
“Like Bush said himself, you are either with the disbelievers (us) or the terrorists (Muslims),” Azzam wrote. “Therefore, those Muslims who are condemning the Taliban etc. have already taken sides and that is the side of Zionist-controlled America.”
On Thursday, Azzam.com also published a news story claiming that U.S. planes had been bombing targets in Yemen.
“Since the morning of Tuesday 18 December 2001, U.S. warplanes have been bombing the Husoun village in Marib, Yemen,” the story claimed. “The reason for this bombing is due to the refusal of the Ale-Jalal tribe to hand over Mujahedin to the Yemeni government, which was given a list of names by the U.S. government just before Ramadan. …”
In fact, there has been fighting involving al-Qaida troops in Yemen, but the Yemeni government has been the aggressor.
“Troop reinforcements on Wednesday moved into the remote hills of central Yemen where government forces have battled armed tribesmen in an assault to capture suspected operatives of Osama bin Laden,” reported The Associated Press.
Heavy fighting was reported in the provinces of Shabwa and Marib “Tuesday as the government tried to capture five suspected bin Laden loyalists being protected by the Abida tribe. Both provinces are known strongholds of Islamic militants,” said the report.
The U.S. blamed bin Laden for an attack against the destroyer USS Cole Oct. 13, 2000. The assault by a small craft loaded with explosives blew a hole in the side of the warship and killed 17 sailors on board, injuring about 31 others.