- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2002

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan Attackers opened fire late yesterday on U.S. positions alongside the American base at Kandahar airport, the Army said. There were no U.S. casualties in that attack, but in a separate incident at another base, a U.S. soldier was crushed to death by falling equipment.
Details about the shooting incident were sketchy, but there were no casualties on either side, said Maj. Ralph Mills, spokesman for the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.
Maj. Mills said officials didn't know exactly who fired, but were calling it "probing fire," for now. That usually means shooters trying to find a weak point in the perimeter.
Seven persons were detained by U.S. troops, and three others who were seen near the airfield escaped in a vehicle, Maj. Mills said.
U.S. troops shot illumination rounds, then returned machine-gun fire in the direction of the shooting. They also sent up helicopters to try to assess where the firing was coming from.
The Army soldier, based at Bagram air base north of the capital, Kabul, died of injuries caused when the heavy piece of equipment he was working on fell on him, Maj. Mills said. He was taken to a local medical facility for emergency surgery, where doctors pronounced him dead, he said.
The soldier's name was being withheld until his family has been notified, Maj. Mills said.
Eight U.S. soldiers were injured Tuesday evening when their Air Force transport plane crashed, U.S. officials said.
None of the eight aboard that MC-130P transport plane that went down in a remote part of Afghanistan sustained life-threatening injuries, and seven could still walk, said Maj. Brad Lowell, another Central Command spokesman.
The cause of the crash was not known, although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, Central Command said.


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