Monday, October 8, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bush announces US strikes

Washington, October 7
President George W. Bush today said the USA and Britain had begun strikes against military installations of Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban and training camps of Islamic militant Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network.

“On my orders, the US military has begun strikes against Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan,’’ Mr Bush said in a televised speech from Treaty Room in his White House residence.

“These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime,’’ he added.

The attacks followed the Taliban’s refusal to turn over Laden, suspected of masterminding the September 11 attacks on USA. Mr Bush said the attacks were designed to clear the way for “comprehensive and relentless operations to drive them (Laden and his associates) out and bring them to justice.’’

“The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter and we will not fail,’’ Mr Bush said. He said Britain had joined in the attacks.

US officials said the attacks included Cruise missile strikes and were launched against Taliban military positions in Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar.

The USA would also provide aid, drop food, medicine and supplies to alleviate a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“The USA is a friend to the Afghan people, and we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practise the Islamic faith,’’ Mr Bush said.

The USA was also taking precautions to defend any strikes of retribution launched by Laden, he said. ReutersBack


Bush informed Putin, Chirac

Paris, October 7
US President George W. Bush contacted his French counterpart Jacques Chirac today to tell him that the USA was about to launch attacks on Afghanistan, Mr Chirac’s spokeswoman Catherine Colonna said.

Mr Bush also forewarned Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about attacks on Afghanistan only minutes before the strikes were unleashed, the Kremlin said, according to Interfax.

Dushanbe (Tajikistan): The leadership of the anti-Taliban Opposition in northern Afghanistan was informed this morning that the USA intended to attack Taliban positions, an opposition official said.

Mr Rahimullah, the First Secretary of the Afghan Embassy, which represents the government-in-exile in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, said the Opposition knew that the USA intended to attack military targets in Kabul and Kandahar. AFP, AP


Bush talks to Vajpayee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 7
The US President, Mr George W. Bush, called up Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at 1730 hrs today and told him that the military strikes on Afghanistan were about to start and also disclosed that the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist outfit was soon to be included in the US list of banned outfits.

According to Prime Minister’s Office here, President Bush also assured Mr Vajpayee that US war against terrorism would not be confined to one region alone and was going to be a global affair. He also told Mr Vajpayee that the matter related to the attacks on the Sikh community in the USA had been sorted out by White House to the satisfaction of Sikhs. Mr Bush also informed Mr Vajpayee that US Secretary of State Colin Powell would visit India in the third week of October.

Sources from Prime Minister’s Office said Union Ministers L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh were with Mr Vajpayee when Mr Bush called him up. Mr Vajpayee had been in close touch with his senior ministers since the US strikes began. He remained glued to the television till late tonight watching live telecast of various TV channels from the Afghan front, the PMO sources said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is likely to meet tomorrow to access the situation in Afghanistan.Back

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