A group of 300 American rangers was airlifted to Afghanistan on October 4, before the anti-terror operation was launched, RIA Novosti was told by a military diplomatic source in the Russian capital on Monday. According to the source, the rangers were airlifted on helicopters in groups of 4-6 men into different districts of Afghanistan, primarily those controlled by the Northern Alliance forces. The source specified that before being transferred to Afghan territory the Americans spent several weeks in a Central Asian country studying the operational situation, the nature and relief of the terrain of the areas of the forthcoming actions. The American rangers, said the source, are fitted out with satellite communication equipment and light arms. They are staying on dominating heights near settlements and act as advanced air spotters, guiding US strike aviation on earlier set and newly exposed targets to ensure the maximum effect of the bombings and at the same time to minimize losses among the civilian population of Afghanistan.