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|Monday, October 08, 2001, updated at 11:28(GMT+8)|
US Launches Military Attacks on Afghanistan
Air-borne bombardments rocked the cities, where the Taliban's limited installations are believed to concentrate.
Smoke was billowing at Kabul airport and surrounding areas, but the city of Kabul was not yet seriously destroyed, the Afghan Islamic Press quoted a Taliban spokesman as saying. The Taliban has yet to get information about casualties, according to the spokesman.
During their first wave of attack, cruise missiles were fired from U.S. and British ships. The U.S. fighter jets also involved in the retaliatory pounding, reports reaching here said.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials said the military action was also accompanied by air drops of food and other humanitarian relief supplies to Afghan refugees fleeing the U.S. bombing.
The U.S. had prepared for weeks to strike the Taliban in retaliation for harbouring Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect of the September 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington.
The Taliban, which have repeatedly rejected the U.S. demand to hand over bin Laden, vowed to launch the jihad (holy war) in case of being attack.
Quoting sources in the city, the report said main equipment of the airport have been destroyed.
Meanwhile, the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad is also under the military attacks, it said.
Earlier, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban militia confirmed U. S. bombing near Kabul airport, according to the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).
AIP said the city of Kabul has not been attacked by the U.S. forces.
Quoting witness, AIP said dense smoke was seen rising from the surrounding areas near Kabul airport.
Quoting source in Taliban's Foreign Ministry in Kabul, the report said people living around the airport were fleeing their homes despite a curfew that lasts from 9.00 p.m. until dawn.
The source said electricity in main parts of the city has been restored and cars are seen running on the roads.
"Don't worry, a few bombs were thrown down, nothing ripsnorting ", said the source.
Taliban ambassador to Pakistan said that the Taliban would fight to its last breath.
Many targets including the Airport in Kandahar, headquarters of the Taliban militia, were destroyed in the U.S. military action which began just an hour ago.
The eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad is also under attack.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed U.S. bombarded the Kabul Airport, the Pakistan-based Afghan news agency said. Dense smoke was seen rising from the surrounding areas near Kabul airport.
Witnesses in Kabul was quoted as saying that thunderous explosions and the rattle of anti-aircraft fire were heard and electricity was shut off throughout the city.
Residents of the city said they could hear Taliban artillery, anti-aircraft and small arms returning fire.
Jets could be heard flying high over the city as the night sky lit up with explosions and strings of tracer bullets from Taliban anti-aircraft guns.
The Kandahar Airport Command Base in south Afghanistan was reportedly destroyed in the attacks.
Taliban command center in Kabul was also destroyed.
In a reaction to the U.S.-led attacks, a top aide to former Afghan monarch Mohammed Zahir Shah said in Rome that the exiled monarch was "shocked and saddened" by the attacks in Afghanistan.
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