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The world at war
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The world at war
By Aaron Wherry
Anthrax hysteria reached America's highest office Tuesday when the potentially lethal bacteria was discovered at an off-site mail-screening facility for the White House.
Elsewhere, the latest victims of bioterrorism were confirmed when anthrax was identified as the cause of death for two Washington, D.C.-area postal workers.
A mail handler in New Jersey and four postal workers in Washington are also believed to have contracted inhalation anthrax the form of the disease that has now killed three Americans.
In all, two patients have been hospitalized with inhalation anthrax, two postal workers have died in connection with the disease and four people have symptoms consistent with anthrax infection, Washington officials said.
Additionally, the city is investigating 12 cases which are of a "very low suspicion" of anthrax, said Ivan Walks, the senior health official in the District of Columbia.
At the White House, spokesman Ari Fleischer said anthrax had been located at a mail-screening facility for the White House, located at a military installation.
The origin of the anthrax is unknown, but the mail handled at the screening centre is processed through the same Brentwood facility linked to the infected postal workers in Washington, the Secret Service said in a statement.
One senior Postal Service official said roughly 3,400 employees across the nation's capital need to be evaluated and receive a 10 day supply of antibiotics.
More than 2,000 workers at the Brentwood facility will need a full 60-day does of antibiotics and those at auxiliary offices were beginning preventive treatment while their work sites are tested.
Meanwhile, America's investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks continues.
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced Tuesday that a terrorist cell operating out of Hamburg, Germany since at least 1999 included three of the hijackers and three accomplices who are being sought in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.
German authorities previously issued international arrests warrants for the three.
Also Tuesday, American military officials said U.S. air strikes have hit every known al-Qaida training camp and Taliban forces in Afghanistan may be hiding in residential areas to avoid being targeted by U.S. bombs.
The U.S. offensive continued Tuesday with the same intensity as previous days, as U.S. officials conceded several civilian targets have been accidentally struck over the 17 days of bombing.
Officials were unable to confirm the number of casualties resulting from the bombing of civilian targets, but Taliban authorities have claimed at least 100 people died when U.S. bombs struck a civilian hospital.
An American military official said the U.S.-led air campaign in Afghanistan would likely continue into the winter.
with files from Associated Press and Canadian Press