Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Killer of U.S. soldier fled to Pakistan - U.S. Army

Killer of U.S. soldier fled to Pakistan - U.S. Army

Author: Reuters
Publication: Yahoo News
Date: December 22, 2002
URL: http://in.news.yahoo.com/021222/137/1zee8.html

Suspected al Qaeda forces who shot and killed a U.S. soldier on Saturday fled across the eastern border into Pakistan, the U.S. military said.

The soldier died of wounds from a firefight that occurred after his patrol spotted seven to nine suspected guerrillas, said Maj. Stephen Clutter, a spokesman at Bagram Air Base, headquarters of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department identified the soldier as Sgt. Steven Checo, 22, of New York City. He was a member of the 504th Infantry, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

"His death, as well as his dedicated service, strengthens our resolve in pursuit of terrorists, terrorist networks and those who harbor and support them," said Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman.

The firefight took place before dawn near the village of Shkin, about 60 km south of Gardez, along the 2,430-km border with Pakistan, said U.S. Central Command, which runs U.S. operations in Afghanistan.

"They were armed. They ran from U.S. forces. They headed back across the Pakistani border" firing their weapons as they fled, said Army Sgt. Maj. Lewis Matson, a spokesman at the Tampa, Florida-based command.

The shooting followed a grenade attack in the capital of Kabul on Tuesday in which two U.S. servicemen and their Afghan interpreter were wounded. Another U.S. soldier was wounded in a rocket attack in eastern Afghanistan on Friday.

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, dismissed concern the security situation might be worsening in Afghanistan but said there were still some dangerous areas, especially in the east.

"We did have a tragic death last night, but I don't think that has anything to do with the situation," he said while on a pre-Christmas visit to troops at Bagram air base.

"My assessment is that things continue to improve in Afghanistan for the people of Afghanistan, and that we are making progress every day," Myers told reporters.

The soldier was evacuated to a nearby U.S. base for treatment but died during surgery.

The Shkin area was the scene of a major U.S. sweep for al Qaeda suspects in September.

Clutter said 26 American servicemen had been killed by hostile fire and 137 wounded since operations began in Afghanistan against al Qaeda and the former Taliban regime in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

A further 28 have died in nonhostile incidents, he said.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements