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U.S. Soldier Wounded in Afghanistan

October 5, 2002

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BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AP) _ Shots were fired at a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan, wounding a crewman in the foot, the military said Saturday. The helicopter returned fire, killing one enemy fighter and wounding another.

The wounded American was taken to the U.S. base in Kandahar and was in stable condition after Friday night’s shooting, said Col. Roger King, a U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan. He did not identify the crewman but said it was not the helicopter pilot or co-pilot.

The special operations helicopter, a twin-rotor MH-47 Chinook, was hit by small-arms fire northwest of Kandahar, King said. The aircraft was damaged lightly but able to return to Kandahar.

The helicopter crew saw the two suspected enemy fighters and fired back, but did not try to retrieve the dead man’s body, King said.

King would not detail the helicopter’s mission.

Gunfire also was reported Friday night in two places near the Bagram Air Base, the U.S. military’s headquarters in Afghanistan, King said. It caused no damage or injuries.

``There was a possibility that it was part of a celebration because they also heard loud music and dogs barking at about the same time,″ he said.

Also, a U.S. helicopter brought a 10-year-old Afghan girl to the Bagram base for medical treatment Friday night after she was injured by a land mine near Asadabad. It also picked up an Afghan militia soldier suffering from complications caused by an amputation. Both were in stable condition, King said.

The military said Friday it had destroyed the largest cache of explosives found in Afghanistan _ hundreds of 500-pound bombs found buried in a riverbed near Kandahar in April.

King said Saturday the 417 bombs were Soviet-made. A booby-trapped cache found in April caused demolition teams to scale back their work until July, creating a backlog that delayed the destruction of the bombs, he said.

The military said Friday there were 420 bombs and they were discovered several weeks ago.

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