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Suspected Al-Qaeda sanctuaries raided

US and Afghan forces raided compounds suspected of being Al-Qaeda sanctuaries in southeastern Afghanistan.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2006 17:25 IST

US and Afghan forces raided compounds suspected of being Al-Qaeda sanctuaries in southeastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, seizing weapons and explosives and arresting eight people, the US military said.

The compounds targeted in the pre-dawn raids near the villages of Paru Kheyl and Jabeh in the Yaqubi district in Khost province were believed to be sanctuaries for "Al-Qaeda facilitators," according to a military statement.

"Credible intelligence linked the targeted terrorists to assisting foreign fighters and plotting improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan and Coalition forces in Khost province," the statement said.

An assortment of weapons, explosives and telecommunications equipment were found during the searches, it added.

Those captured were being questioned to determine their identities and "their level of involvement in known terrorist activities," the statement said.

US and NATO forces have stepped up operations along Afghanistan's eastern and southern borders with Pakistan, where wanted Al-Qaeda fugitives are believed to be at large along with allies from the toppled Taliban regime and Islamic extremists belonging to Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.