WASHINGTON (AP) The bodies of six U.S. Marines killed in an air crash in Pakistan were on their way home yesterday, and more than two dozen al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners were en route to detention in Cuba.
Military investigators continued to search the crash site in the rugged mountain area of southwest Pakistan for the last of the seven victims and clues to what caused the crash of the military refueling plane Wednesday.
“The search will continue,” said Lt. Col. Martin Compton of the U.S. Central Command. “The Marines will leave no one behind.”
U.S. warplanes struck again near the eastern Afghanistan village of Zawar, at the site of a huge complex of caves, tunnels and buildings the Pentagon says was used as an underground hide-out by al-Qaida and Taliban members.
After more than a week of strikes, yesterday”s bombing appeared to be the heaviest attack since last month”s strikes on the al-Qaida cave complex at Tora Bora farther northeast.
A plane carrying the remains of six Marines killed in the plane crash arrived yesterday at the U.S. Rhine-Main Air Base in Germany, adjacent to Frankfurt”s international airport. It left later for the second leg of the trip to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where it was expected to arrive later yesterday or early today.
The names of the Marines found were not released.
In the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, 30 prisoners departed for Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, three days after the first group of prisoners was transferred to the high security facility.
Shackled and with white caps covering their faces, they shuffled in the darkness later yesterday, Afghan time, into a C-17 transport plane for the flight to eastern Cuba. Lights at the U.S. base at the Kandahar airport were shut off except for red low-intensity lights and green chemical lighting. Security was tight, with attack dogs and Humvees with 50-caliber machine guns patrolling the area.
The first group of 20 detainees left Thursday and arrived in Guantanamo Bay the following day.
The base at the Kandahar airport is the site of the main detention center for al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners from the war.