Tuesday, June 28, 2005

This was weird -- yesterday's Mirror in the U.K. had this:

SAS troops were last night poised to storm into Afghanistan and capture Osama bin Laden.

Special forces have "good intelligence" the al-Qaeda boss or a senior henchman is holed up in a Taliban enclave.

Two squadrons are on stand-by waiting for the go-ahead from reconnaissance troops on the ground in Afghanistan....

Commanders have insisted on waiting for news on the ground because of the cost of the operation, which could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and stretch vital SAS resources.

A senior MOD source said last night: "Although this would cost a lot of money, if the intelligence was good the resources would be made available." ...

(The SAS is Britain's Sprecial Air Service; MOD is the Ministry of Defence.)

The truth? Pure hype? I have no idea. But today there's some reality from the BBC:

A US military helicopter has crashed in Afghanistan, the military has said.

The Chinook helicopter went down in the eastern province of Konar while carrying troops, the statement said.

The cause of the crash was not known, nor was the fate of the passengers. A Chinook helicopter can carry up to 54 passengers plus a crew of four.

The military said the aircraft had been participating in an anti-guerrilla operation. It was the second US Chinook to crash in the country this year.

The BBC's Andrew North in Kabul says it appears that this incident is "more serious" than the previous crash.

Eighteen people were killed in that crash....

Bad news.

Konar Province, incidentally, is right on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

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