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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 2, 2002

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President is concerned about reports from Afghanistan that innocent lives were lost in the conduct of joint U.S.-Afghan military operations in Oruzgan Province today. We do not yet know what exactly happened and we are working very hard to find out. A joint U.S.-Afghan investigation team arrived in Oruzgan today and has already begun their fact-finding mission. Their findings will result in a comprehensive report.

On behalf of the American people, the President extends his deep condolences for the loss of innocent life no matter what the cause is determined to be. In the meantime, we are consulting with Afghan authorities on the humanitarian needs of the people in the area.

The Afghan people have played a critical role in our joint war against terrorism. The United States greatly appreciate their support in this vital struggle. Working together, our nations have made important progress in defeating terrorism and we have given Afghanistan the hope of a better tomorrow. The United States is committed to helping Afghanistan's new government ensure that the country is never again a haven for terror. We are actively supporting Afghanistan's efforts to provide for its own security and to rebuild after decades of war and oppression. The United States is determined to work in partnership with Afghanistan to see these efforts through in the months and years ahead.


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