3,212. 12/15/2001

In the battle of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in mid-December 2001, "Some thirty U.S. SOF [Special Operations Forces] arrived three days after the battle started–and, in reality, was already lost–while B-52s carried out heavy bombing of the mountains. The main force of Arabs had escaped with the help of Afghan commanders who had been bribed. Between six hundred and eight hundred Arabs were escorted out of Tora Bora by Pashtun guides from the Pakistani side of the border, at an average cost of $1,200 each. It was the cheapest getaway in modern history. The short battle had been staged by the Arabs to allow bin Laden and the main force of foreigners to escape." [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Ahmed Rashid, Descent Into Chaos, 98

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