B52s, Afghan troops moving away from Shah-e-Kot
Dateline: Various, 14 March 2002
Date: 03/14/2002 04:00 AM
Shah-e-Kot, South of Gardez
1. Wide shot local Pashtun commanders and soldiers looking into the sky
2. Jetstream from B-52 flying over head
3. Wide shot soldiers looking at planes
4. Close up man looking into the sky
Road between Gardez and Kabul
5. Various Chinooks flying through battle areas
6. Mid shot Afghan Northern Alliance soldiers
7. Wide shot tanks driving through mountains
8. Back of tank driving along the road
9. Wide shot Chinook
10. Wide shot tanks driving along road
11. Military vehicles driving along road
Local Pashtun commanders watched in Shah-e-Kot on Thursday as American B-52 planes dropped bombs on remaining al-Qaida and Taliban forces as part of the clean-up after Operation Anaconda.
Canadian forces are taking the lead in the mop-up work following a 12-day battle for control of the 60 square mile (155 square kilometre) area.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Northern Alliance troops who had taken part in the joint mission with American soldiers left for a military base near Kabul as the operation continued to wind down.
Gul Haidar, who led the Northern Alliance contingent during the offensive, said that their job was complete.
Tensions between Pashtuns in the area and the Northern Alliance, who are mostly Tajik, also influenced the decision to leave.
The local Pashtun community asked Northern Alliance troops to leave Shah-e-Kot, given that their role in the fighting was coming to an end.
The troops are expected back in Kabul late on Thursday.
Operation Anaconda was the biggest offensive in the Afghan campaign and used conventional American ground troops in combat for the first time in the five-month war.