Tuesday, October 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Armoury used by American, British forces
T
HE following are the brief details of some of the aircraft, ships and ordnance being used by the US and British forces in attacks on targets in Afghanistan.
  • AIRCRAFT

  • ORDNANCE

  • AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

  • SUBMARINES

  • SPECIAL FORCES

Western air strike ayes
J
ordan, a key Arab ally of the USA, gave its full backing to US-led strikes against Afghanistan on Monday but said the war against terrorism must also focus of resolving the Middle East conflict. 

Air strike nays
I
raqi President Saddam Hussein has said US-led military strikes on Afghanistan will destabilise the world and might expand to target other nations. 

US planes drop  food packets
Washington, October 8
In a stick-and-carrot strategy, US planes dropped leaflets calling on the Taliban to end their resistance as well as food supplies to the 24-million population. 

Video: Real Player
Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef has said last night's attack was a "terrorist action by the tyrant, the USA."
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A hardline pro-Taliban group in Pakistan has called for a Jihad against America following a wave of airstrikes against targets across Afghanistan.
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UN observers’ copter shot: 9 die
Moscow, October 8
Nine persons, including six UN observers, were killed today when the rebels shot down a helicopter in Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia, Itar-Tass reported. “We all saw it (the helicopter) explode. Of course they are all dead, the official at the Abkhaz Defence Ministry said.



Dallas resident Rajinder Singh, with US flag, a member of the Sikh faith, observes a moment of silence for all victims of terrorism and violence during an interfaith gathering at the Northway Christian Church in Dallas  on Sunday. — AP/PTI


EARLIER STORIES
 
Laden ‘will survive’ war
Islamabad, October 8
Washington’s war against Afghanistan may last six days to six months but will not bring any major success to the USA, says palmist and numerologist Khalid Mustafa. 


In his first public appearance since September 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the attacks, once again denied his involvement in the attacks.
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Osama bin Laden (left) with his top lieutenant, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahri, are seen at an undisclosed location in this television image broadcast on Sunday. — AP

Britain making diplomatic moves
London, October 8
Britain is making urgent diplomatic moves to prevent what it sees as a crisis developing between India and Pakistan over the international campaign against terrorism, according to well-placed official sources.

Nobel medicine prizeTop







 

Armoury used by American, British forces

THE following are the brief details of some of the aircraft, ships and ordnance being used by the US and British forces in attacks on targets in Afghanistan.

AIRCRAFT

Bombers


B-2 Spirit


B-52 Bomber

B-2 Spirit: Multi-role bomber heavy bomber, cruises    
at high sub-sonic speed with an undisclosed intercontinental range. Has a payload of 40,000 pounds of conventional or nuclear ordnance.

B-1B: Long range, supersonic multi-role bomber having intercontinental range. Carries up to 84 Mark-42 conventional 500 lbs bombs and 30 CBU-87 bombs. Can also be reconfigured to carry a wide range of nuclear weapons.

B-52: Heavy bomber with a range of 8,800 miles and a  payload of about 70,000 pounds of mixed ordnance including bombs, mines and Cruise missiles.

 

Fighters

F14 Tomcat: Ship-borne two-seater multi-role fighter with a speed of 1484 mph. Carries up to 13,000 pounds of ordnance including AIM-54, AIM 7 and AIM 9 AAMs as well as precision guided munitions.

F-15E Strike Eagle: Two-seater tactical fighter which can fly at Mach 2.5 and carry eight AAMs or any air-to-surface weapon in the USAF’s inventory.


F/A-18 Hornet

F-16 Fighting Falcon: Single seat light multi-role fighter capable of carrying a variety of air-to-air misslies as well as precision ground attack munitions.

F/A-18 Hornet: Ship/shore-based single seat multi-role aircraft which can carry about 16,000 pounds of precision munitions as well as beyond-visual-range AAMs.

 

Recce/surveillance aircraft

E-3 Sentry: Airborne early warning, command, control and communications aircraft. Carries a crew of 4 and 13 - 19 mission specialists. Can stay aloft without refuelling up to 8 hours.

E-8 Joint-STARS: Called Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, the aircraft packed with hi-tech electronics gear is used as an airborne battle management post as well as for surveying enemy ground positions. With a crew of four and 15 air force and 3 army mission specialists, it provides a real-time information from its perch to ground stations.

U-2: Ultra-high altitude single seat recce aircraft, it is equipped with sensitive cameras, sensors and satellite communications. It flies at just 475 mph and can stay airborne for seven hours.

Unmanned aircraft

Predator: Used for airborne recce and target acquisition, it flies at 84-140 mph at about 26,000 feet. With a range of about 400 nautical miles, it can stay aloft for about 24 hours and transmit images back in real time.

ORDNANCE

GBU-28: Laser guided bomb weighing 5,000 pounds, it has a range of about 15 nautical miles and can penetrate 20 feet of earth, rock or concrete before exploding.


Tomahawk missile

Tomahawk: Land attack cruise missile with a 1,100-mile range, it uses global positioning system to reach its target. It can be launched from ground, air, ships as well as submarines.

Joint Stand-Off Weapon: An air-to-ground “smart” bomb with a range of about 30 miles, it is used to attack targets from outside enemy air defences and uses global positioning system for guidance.

AGM - 84: A stand-off land attack missile with a range of about 60 miles, it has an accuracy of 52 feet and uses global positioning system for guidance.

AGM-86: Air launched Cruise missile with a range of about 1550 miles, it flies at low altitude using global positioning systems after launch from B-1B or B-52 aircraft.

JDAM: Called Joint Direct Attack Munition, it carries global positioning system guidance kits, which convert free-fall bombs into “smart” weapons.

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS


USS Carl Vinson


USS Enterprise

USS Carl Vinson: One of the most powerful surface       combatant, this Nimitz Class nuclear propelled carrier carries a crew of 155 officers and 2980 sailors, in addition to an air group of 366 officers and 2440 airmen. It displaces about 91,000 tonnes and carries around 90 aircraft including F-14 and F-18 fighters, E-2 and EA-6 early warning and electronic warfare aircraft as well as SAR helicopters. Moves with an escort of two nuclear submarines 9 Cruisers, destroyers and support ships and three amphibious units.

USS Enterprise: The world’s first nuclear-powered        
carriers, the Enterprise displaces about 91,000 tonnes and has a complement of 180 officers and 3140 sailors in addition to an airgroup of 310 officers and 2000 airmen. Carries around 85 aircraft including F-14 and F-18 fighters, E-2 and EA-6 early warning and electronic warfare aircraft as well as SAR helicopters. Moves with an escort of 2 nuclear submarines, 10 Cruisers, destroyers and support ships and three amphibious units..

SUBMARINES

Nuclear-propelled attack submarines, equipped with Cruise missiles which can be launched even when they are submerged.

SPECIAL FORCES

Highly trained, superbly equipped troops from various special operation groups from the US and British forces are reported to be operating in Afghanistan. Operating in small groups, their roles include intelligence gathering, sabotage, assassination and quick surgical raids on pre-determined targets. The US special forces include the Green Berets, Rangers, Navy Seals, Recon Marines and Delta Force, while the British groups include the famed Special Air Service and the Royal Marines’ Pathfinders.Top

 

Western air strike ayes

Jordan, a key Arab ally of the USA, gave its full backing to US-led strikes against Afghanistan on Monday but said the war against terrorism must also focus of resolving the Middle East conflict.

It was one of the first statements from an Arab government giving unqualified support to the military campaign in Afghanistan launched on Sunday.

But the kingdom’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood group condemned the strikes and said the campaign would make main target Osama bin Laden, a hero in the Muslim world.

The government said military force should not be the only means used to eradicate terrorism.

The USA has been joined in its operation Enduring Freedom by “staunch friend, Great Britain,” President Bush declared, adding Canada, Australia, Germany and France has also pledged forces.

“More than 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and across Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more have shared intelligence. We are supported by the collective will of the world,” he said.

Washington’s NATO allies quickly lined up with renewed offers of support and the 15-nation European Union expressed its “full solidarity “ with the military action ordered in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA.

French Defence Minister Alain Richard on Monday said France was ready to offer specific military support to the USA, in its responses to the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

“That could be special forces, air facilities and added naval support,” Mr Richard told RTL Radio.

Germany renewed its offer of military help if needed, while France said its troops would take part and that its skies would be open to US aircraft involved in the mission.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi put Italy on a state of alert and made it clear that Rome stood four-square with the USA.

“Italy is on the side of the USA and of all those who are committed to the fight against terrorism,” Mr Berlusconi said before heading to his Rome “crisis cell” with other high-ranking officials.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also held meetings with his security advisers in Moscow, while a statement from the Foreign Ministry gave full support to the USA in its battle against terror, saying “the time has come to take decisive action to fight this evil.”

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi also said his country “strongly supports this action” and would provide whatever help it could.

But in Pakistan, a frontline state and formerly the Taliban’s main foreign backer, the Foreign Minister said it hoped the attacks on Afghanistan would be swift and carefully targeted.

China was also cautious, giving qualified backing to the strikes by saying it supported action against terrorism provided it was limited to “specific objectives” and avoided civilian casualties.

Indonesia’s government today urged the USA and its allies to limit military strikes against Afghanistan in their war on terrorism, saying it was following developments “with deep concern”.

The statement by Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, the first official comment from the world’s most populous Muslim country on the attacks, did not openly criticise the US-led strikes.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has pledged that his country would provide “all help possible” to the USA following the US-led strikes.

Prime Minister John Howard said Australia, which has committed 1,000 military personnel, including 150 elite Special Air Service troops, to the anti-terrorism campaign, fully supported the action.

Nepal has expressed support for the military action initiated by the USA and the international coalition against the Taliban.

Taiwan’s leader, one of the USA’s biggest supporters in Asia, strongly endorsed the US-led attacks on Afghanistan and offered humanitarian aid to civilians in the Central Asian nation.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo supports the US-led strikes in Afghanistan and sees them as a “just and humane” campaign to rid the world of terrorists, a senior aide said on Monday.

Four Nordic countries on Sunday expressed their support for the US-led military action taken against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the terrorist camps around the country. AgenciesTop

 

 

Air strike nays

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has said US-led military strikes on Afghanistan will destabilise the world and might expand to target other nations. “This style will only lead to more instability and lawlessness in the world,’’ Mr Hussein said in a statement on Sunday after convening an emergency meeting of his inner Cabinet.

Iran has termed the US-led military action on Afghanistan as “unacceptable” and warned US fighters not to violate the country’s air space.

“These attacks which have been launched regardless of the world public opinion, especially the Muslim nations, and will damage the innocent and oppressed Afghans are unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi was quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

Vietnam’s state-run media condemned the US-British strikes on Afghanistan, calling on Monday for a halt to what it described as an unjust response to terrorism.

“It is not possible to fight terrorism through war, especially one launched against an independent and sovereign nation,’’ an editorial said in the armed forces daily Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People’s Army).

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh had previously stated that any action in Afghanistan should be taken under the rules of the United Nations charter.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad — Asia’s longest serving leader — on Monday condemned the US and British attacks on Afghanistan, predicting they would fail to wipe out terrorism but could produce greaer support for Islamic hard-liners.

“Our country does not agree,” with the attacks on Afghanistan, Mr Mahathir told Parliament, “and we believe the attacks will not wipe out terrorism or kill the terrorists.”

“Perhaps because of this act of war, they will become more hardline and more people will join them,” he said. Agencies
Top

 

US planes drop food packets

Washington, October 8
In a stick-and-carrot strategy, US planes dropped leaflets calling on the Taliban to end their resistance as well as food supplies to the 24-million population.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said two Air Force C-17s dropped the meatless Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDR) some nine hours after US and British forces struck Taliban targets and guerrilla training bases across Afghanistan with bombs and missiles.

The drops, designed to help avoid a humanitarian disaster and impress the world that the USA and Britain were not conducting war on the Afghan people, occurred in this morning darkness in Afghanistan due to a time difference of nearly eight hours with Washington.

“They (the packages) carry a message that they are ‘a food gift from the people of the United States of America’,’’ Mr Whitman said.

The aid packages are part of a $320 million humanitarian effort for displaced Afghan refugees announced by US President George W. Bush on Thursday.

The two-pound Humanitarian Daily Ration packages are designed to be religiously and culturally acceptable to all people. They include rice, vegetables, fruit and a variety of nutritious ingredients while avoiding items such as pork, for example, which is not eaten by Muslims.

Mr Bush’s growing aid offer of food, medicine and other items underscored US determination not to alienate the Afghan population even as it threatened military action which was carried out yesterday.

The United Nations says a quarter of Afghanistan’s 24 million population are dependent on food aid and that more than a million people have fled their homes in a country ravaged by war and drought. It is estimated that up to 105 million more may try to cross into neighbouring countries. The first plane to fly to Quetta in Pakistan via New Delhi and Islamabad, touched down at 9.45 a.m. and the second landed 20 minutes later. This is for the first time after World War II that this airport is being used by foreign military aircraft.

Golbahar: Mahmuda hangs limply on her father’s shoulder, her tiny body all but lost in the folds of a dirty frock. She is a year old, but her fragile, pink feet are barely bigger than a newborn’s.

Her face is streaked with yellow tears, and her weak sobs produce only a low rattle. For two months now she has been given extra food from a clinic for malnourished children run by a French charity.

She could survive, but the odds are stacked against her as one child in four is dead by the age of five.

In the town’s main hospital, chronic child malnutrition rates have risen from eight to 40 percent. Every day, 40 to 50 children are admitted here with malnutrition. Reuters
Top

 

UN observers’ copter shot: 9 die

Moscow, October 8
Nine persons, including six UN observers, were killed today when the rebels shot down a helicopter in Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia, Itar-Tass reported.

“We all saw it (the helicopter) explode. Of course they are all dead, the official at the Abkhaz Defence Ministry said.

The Mi-8 helicopter, with six UN observers and three crew on board, set off from Sukhumi airport at around 9.00 a.m. Moscow time (1030 IST) and was shot down 15 minutes later over a region known to be a stronghold of Georgian and Chechen rebels.

The helicopter was shot down over Abkhazia’s Kodori gorge, “which is under the control of Chechen and Georgian terrorists, who have invaded Abkhaz territory from Georgia,” Abkhaz “Foreign Minister” Sergei Shamba told Interfax.

Earlier, the republic’s Defence Minister had warned of a possible attack by up to 1,000 Georgians and Chechen rebels, Interfax reported. Around 500 fighters under Chechen field commander Ruslan Gelayev were preparing to mount a joint attack with a 500-strong force advancing on Abkhazia from Georgia’s Pankissky gorge, Vladimir Mikanba said.

Abkhazian separatist troops used artillery and armoured cars last week to repel an armed group of Chechens and Georgians who seized a local village.

Around 3,000 Russian troops are stationed in Abkhazia as part of a peacekeeping force sent by the Commonwealth of Independent States, a group of former Soviet Republics. AFP
Top

 

Laden ‘will survive’ war

Islamabad, October 8
Washington’s war against Afghanistan may last six days to six months but will not bring any major success to the USA, says palmist and numerologist Khalid Mustafa.

Mustafa made the prediction after a detailed study of the handprints of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the US terror attacks, as well as US President George W. Bush, SADA news agency reported.

Mustafa said: “The war will adversely affect the US image in the world, in addition to causing significant losses in men and material.

“October is a favourable period for Osama to wage a war. The whole of October will remain favourable for him in this respect,” he said.

Interestingly, Mustafa’s study finds that neither Mr Bush nor bin Laden would die in the war.

The fortune-teller also sees no change in the Taliban rule of Afghanistan in the next three months.

Mustafa is a 36-year-old Islamabad-based corporate lawyer. His deep interest in numerology and palmistry has taken him to some of the internationally known experts in the field. Despite his deep study and keen interest, he does not use his art for earning livelihood.

His assessments are: Bin Laden is a Leo and has all characteristics associated with a Leo personality. He is a born leader, can establish corporate or other organisation and can manage successfully. The lucky numbers include 1 and 3.

Bin Laden’s birthday — July 30, 1957 — is a day associated with warlords. Interestingly, Adolf Hitler of Germany was born on the same date.

Bin Laden’s name contains 13 letters. It can make a person reserved by nature.

“I see a perfect balance in Osama’s name, as the value of the first letter is equal to sum of all letters i.e. six. This number develops interest in poetry and takes a person deep into thinking.” IANS
Top

 

Britain making diplomatic moves
Sanjay Suri

London, October 8
Britain is making urgent diplomatic moves to prevent what it sees as a crisis developing between India and Pakistan over the international campaign against terrorism, according to well-placed official sources.

The moves were launched following Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit to India and Pakistan over the weekend, the sources said.

US President George Bush has talked of declaring the Jaish-e-Mohammad — blamed for the October 1 bomb explosion in Srinagar that killed 38 persons — a terrorist organisation within hours of Mr Blair’s visit.

That move came following strong criticism by Mr Vajpayee that the global alliance against terrorism who playing into Pakistani hands while ignoring terrorism aimed at India.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell is visiting India and Pakistan soon to calm dangers of any confrontation between the two at a time when the world’s attention would be focused on neighbouring Afghanistan. The decision reportedly followed talks between Mr Blair and Mr Bush after the former’s visit to Islamabad and Delhi.

Mr Blair apparently prevailed over President Musharraf to play down differences over Jammu and Kashmir at this time, the sources said. But the British find India taking a harder line now than they had anticipated. IANS
Top

 

Blair forms war cabinet UK

London, October 8
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has set up a formal war cabinet in the wake of the US and British air and missile strikes against Afghanistan. It will meet for the first time tomorrow.

The committee will consist of Mr Blair and his Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, Chancellor Gordon Brown and Home Secretary David Blunkett. Agencies
Top


British scribe released

Peshawar (Pakistan), October 8
Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban released detained British journalist Yvonne Ridley today and handed her over to the Pakistani authorities at the border, a senior Pakistani frontier official said. The release followed overnight US-led military strikes on Taliban targets in Afghanistan. "She was handed over to the authorities around 1430 GMT at the Torkham border crossing and is now on her way to Peshawar". AFP
Top

 

Nobel medicine prize

Stockholm, October 8
Cancer cell pioneers Leland Hartwell of the USA and Britons Tim Hunt and Paul Nurse today won the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. They share the prestigious $ 1 million prize for groundbreaking research that could help find a cure for cancer.
Top

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