Associated Press October 10, 2001
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is adding 5,000-pound "bunker-buster" bombs to the mix of weapons aimed at shaking up the Taliban and laying ground for commando raids in Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday.
A fourth day of aerial raids,
including attacks on the outskirts of Kabul, the Afghan capital, moved
the U.S.-led campaign closer to the expected start of ground operations
against the al-Qaida terrorist network and the Taliban government.
|The focus of
the air campaign over Afghanistan is turning to more difficult targets,
after opening salvos neutralized the Taliban's meager air defenses. Among
priority targets now are deeply buried command-and-control facilities associated
with Taliban leaders' compounds, including those near Kandahar, officials
Air war planners selected the 5,000-pound "bunker-buster" bombs for use against those targets.
During the Gulf War, the Pentagon developed the GBU-28, whose inventory and performance characteristics are classified secret, for striking deeply buried targets. It was used on Feb. 27, 1991, against a bunker complex in Iraq; two years ago a version with an improved guidance system was put into production.
The B-2 stealth bomber is capable of dropping the improved version of the bomb, known as the EGBU-28. B-2s have flown missions over Afghanistan and dropped 2,000-pound satellite-guided bombs known as the Joint Direct Attack Munition.
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