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Sunday, 7 October, 2001, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Bush opens new front
US President George W Bush
The US has said it has launched a new front in its war
US President George W Bush has addressed the nation to announce he has ordered attacks to begin on Afghanistan.

He said the aim was to destroy terrorist training camps and disrupt communications.

To all the men and women in our military... I say this: Your mission is defined, your objectives are clear, your goal is just. You have my full confidence

George W Bush
His statement came as loud explosions were heard over the Afghan capital Kabul and electricity supplies were cut.

President Bush, speaking from the Treaty Room of the White House, said that the Taleban had failed to satisfy "clear" and "specific" demands made by the US.

These included the handing over of Osama Bin Laden - held responsible for the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington - and of foreign nationals detained by the Taleban.

'Carefully targeted'

"On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taleban regime in Afghanistan," Mr Bush said.

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

George W Bush
"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 Taleban regime," he added.

Mr Bush said the United Kingdom had also participated in the attacks and that they had the support of over 40 nations.

"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 promised food and medical aid and said that his country was a "friend to the Afghan people and... of almost a billion worldwide who practise the Islamic faith".

But he warned that there was no neutral ground in this conflict and those who supported terrorists were themselves "outlaws and murderers".

'Full confidence'

He said that the decision to send US servicemen and women into conflict was taken only with "the greatest care and a lot of prayer".

"To all the men and women in our military... I say this: Your mission is defined. The objectives are clear. Your goal is just. You have my full confidence, and you will have every tool you need to carry out your duty."

He also sought to assuage the fears of Americans, saying that security had been heightened and governors had activated the National Guard to step up airport security.

He closed his speech saying "peace and freedom will prevail".

President George W Bush
"There can be no peace in a world of terror"
The BBC's Richard Lister in Washington
"Overwhelmingly it seems that President Bush has the support of the American people"
See also:

07 Oct 01 | Americas
Bush's address to the nation
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