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Four suspected al-Qaida terrorists caught

July 29, 2006 at 8:01 AM

SAL KALAY, Afghanistan, July 29 (UPI) -- Coalition forces captured four suspected members of al-Qaida during a raid in eastern Afghanistan Saturday, a U.S. military spokesman said.

The suspects, arrested near the village of Sal Kalay in Khost province, are believed to have been "involved in the planning of attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan," coalition spokesman Col. Thomas Collins said.

He did not say what roles the suspects played in the attacks or in the al-Qaida terror network, CNN reported. He also did not reveal their names or nationalities.

Coalition forces found two rifles and a briefcase containing "extremist-related" documents in the raids, Collins said.

Rebels believed to be remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaida have stepped up attacks against coalition forces in southern and eastern Afghanistan in the bloodiest fighting since the Taliban regime was ousted in late 2001. More than 1,700 people have died in militant-linked violence this year.

NATO was scheduled to take over military operations in southern Afghanistan from U.S.-led forces Monday.

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