Thursday, October 11, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Missiles continue to rain on Kabul
Laden warns repeat of Sept 11 attacks *USA claims supremacy of Afghan skies

Kabul/Washington, October 10
US warplanes today launched daylight attacks for the second consecutive day and topped them by heaviest strikes on the fourth successive night targeting Taliban bastion of Kandahar and capital Kabul as the militia claimed three residential areas were pounded causing a number of casualties.

The American aircraft also bombed the Taliban military base of Shamshad close to Pakistan border and around six dozen explosions were set off, Pakistan-based private news agency Afghan Islamic Press reported.

US-spearheaded forces battered outskirts of Kandahar, the headquarter of the Taliban militia, tonight, it said.

Heavy explosions were heard from around Kabul’s airport, and Taliban anti-aircraft batteries opened fire on high-flying jets over the Afghan Capital tonight in the fourth night of the US-led air campaign.

Taliban gunners opened fire from at least three positions near the centre of Kabul. Most of the firing appeared to be from the west of the city around Rishkore and Kargah — both areas where Osama bin Laden is believed to have terrorist training camps.

Within minutes, anti-aircraft fire appeared to be stepping up from every direction and the roar of a number of jets could be heard overhead. Heavy explosions, presumably bombs or missiles, could be heard from the area of the Kabul airport. They shook windows and buildings in a wide area.

Meanwhile, US strikes on Afghanistan since the attacks began on Sunday night have killed 76 persons across the country and injured about 100, the AIP and officials said today.

The figures showed six dead in Jalalabad, two in Herat, eight Mazar-e-Sharif and seven in Farah.

Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban today said Osama bin Laden was free to issue statements but could not launch any hostile acts from the Afghan soil even as Washington said its warplanes had the run of the Afghan skies.

The Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, told a news conference later that America would not be safe while it attacked Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network said in a video broadcast earlier by an Arabic television network that Americans could expect a repeat of the September attacks.

With the US military proclaiming supremacy in the skies over Afghanistan after three days of mainly night air and missile strikes, President George W. Bush vowed justice would be done for the attacks on New York and Washington.

“There’s one way to shorten the campaign in Afghanistan and that’s for Osama bin Laden and his leadership to be turned over so he can be brought to justice,’’ Mr Bush said yesterday after talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

US warplanes launched daylight attacks for the second consecutive day hitting the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar and the militia claimed that three residential areas were pounded, causing a number of casualties.

The Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan said their spiritual leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and Bin Laden were alive and well.

Calling upon Muslims around the world to join the holy war, Bin Laden threatened attacks on American interests “everywhere”.

In an effort to starve the terrorists of funds, the UN ordered member states to freeze the funds and assets of 27 outfits, individuals and firms linked to Bin Laden, including Pakistan-based Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.

The Taliban were beating up United Nations employees in Afghanistan, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a group of over 20 journalists faced the fury of an angry mob today when they were proceeding to Quetta to cover Afghanistan developments as well as situation of refugees, PTV reported tonight.

MOSCOW: Over 2,000 Taliban fighters have joined the opposition forces, including 40 field commanders, pledging allegiance to the Northern Alliance, its Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said on Wednesday.  AgenciesBack

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