After the end of the main stage of the military operation, Pustun tribal troops have started to withdraw tanks and artillery from the caves in Tora Bora in the Spinghar mountains, eastern Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan. At the same time, the US aviation continued to deliver strikes at "moving targets" supporting the activities of Pushtuns and the US special forces which keep on looking through the caves and bunkers. On October 18, Pushtuns captured 6 wounded militants from al-Qaeda. The Pakistani Peshawar-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) agency reports that at present Pushtuns are holding captive 40 foreign mercenaries in the Agam gorge. Under an agreement with Hamid Karzai, the captured will be handed over to the interim government of Afghanistan. The AIP agency quotes a Pushtun spokesman, Zeinallah, as saying that "not a single al-Qaeda militant will be extradited to a foreign state." In the mean time, the Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat wrote on Wednesday that reports had emerged about Osama bin Laden and a few hundreds of militants from al-Qaeda appearing near the village of Bagran, the province of Helmand in southwestern Afghanistan, 165 kilometres northwest of Kandahar, where Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar is believed to be hiding. According to other sources, bin Laden may be either in Iran or in Pakistan.
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Thousands of pages of secret military plans are to be offered for approval at the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius