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U.S. Aircraft Under Missile Fire

December 18, 2001

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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) _ Two U.S. transport planes came under missile fire late Monday from hostile ground forces, but were not hit, a Marine spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman, Capt. David Romley, said the missiles may have been stingers, which the United States provided in abundance to Afghan militias fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

It was the first time U.S. Marine aircraft had been fired on since the Marines set up a base in southern Afghanistan on Nov. 25, Romley said.

The aircraft came under fire over the desert south of Kandahar in separate attacks 30 minutes apart. The two C-130s fired flares, but reported no damage and no injuries among the crew.

Romley indicated that the planes were on reconnaissance missions, but he did not say if the planes were coming or returning from a mission.

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