26 more body bags in
Casualties suffered in storming of bin Laden hideout
ISLAMABAD: Twenty six more bodies of United Special Forces members have reached Jacobabad air base for onward transportation to the United States, The Frontier Post learnt on Wednesday.
These commandos were killed in an operation involving storming of a suspected hideout of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, well placed sources said.
Their bodies were flown to Jacobabad Tuesday evening after US Special Forces were able to airlift them out of Afghanistan.
The sources said that US Special Forces unit raided a suspected bin Laden hideout near Kandahar Monday night.
The unit met some resistance from the guards, but were successful in going inside the hideout and undertaking intelligence tasks.
However, they did not find bin Laden or anyone of his close associates there.
But the real trouble arrived when the Special Forces were being picked up by US helicopters.
The unit and the helicopters cam under intense fire from Taliban forces, and received started receiving casualties.
A US bomber, claimed to be B-52 by the Taliban, is believed to be covering the helicopters at the time of the skirmish.
Taliban hit low-flying bomber, and it crashed near Dalbandin.
The Frontier Post has learnt from other sources that 45 US commandos were killed in this operation.
The number of causalities on Taliban side could not be confirmed, but it is certain that death toll on their side was also high.
The general impression is that no commando operations have been launched since October 20, but Pakistani sources confirm that several such operations have been undertaken by the US forces.
Observers say the Pentagon has kept mum about these operations to avoid questions about causalities.