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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Plaid MP calls for suspension of strikes
A Tomahawk missile
Strikes on Afghanistan began on Sunday night
A leading Plaid Cymru MP has called for a suspension of military action to allow negotiations to continue.

Elfyn Llwyd, MP for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy and Plaid's Parliamentary leader, was speaking in reaction to the first night of strikes by America and Great Britain on Afghanistan.

A true show of strength would now be to hold off and try and negotiate

Elfyn Llwyd, MP for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy
Whilst Mr Llwyd supported the need for the attacks, he feared for civilian casualties if the campaign continued.

He said: "I can understand the need for limited action, but I do now hope the word limited will be in the forefront of the military people's minds, so that we do not see innocent people being killed along the way."

Mr Llwyd described Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi-born millionaire who is the main target of the attacks, as a "stubborn person" who would not respond to "reasonable persuasion".

However, Mr Llwyd conceded that the presence of the military alone would not have been enough to resolve the situation.

But he still harboured misgivings about the action, and questioned where the strikes were leading.

Mr Llwyd said: "Bin Laden's operation is in Afghanistan, but in many other countries as well. Do we therefore sanction attacking them later on?"

He was quick to welcome the Prime Minister's comments that humanitarian and diplomatic concerns were as important as military action.

Elfyn Llwyd MP
Elfyn Llwyd MP: Call for end to strikes
He added: "I do hope that we step up the humanitarian side so that we can limit any so-called collateral damage."

"Upwards of five million people are likely to be starving in Afghanistan before any strikes, so the humanitarian need is great."

"Everyone knows that America has the military might. Surely now we can sit back and stop this whole matter deteriorating.

"Somebody said a show of strength is using military might. I would argue the other way.

"A true show of strength would now be to hold off and try and negotiate."

BBC Wales's Caroline Evans reports
"At Wales's main airport this morning, security was tight"
See also:

08 Oct 01 | South Asia
US threatens more strikes
08 Oct 01 | UK
Police on terror alert
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