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Friday, August 21, 1998 Published at 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK


US missile 'landed in Pakistan'

Students in Islamabad demonstrate against the military attacks

Stephen Sackur on how the attacks have changed the president into a commander-in-chief
Pakistan has announced that at least one of the United States missiles targeted at Afghanistan landed in a border town in Pakistani territory, killing five people.

Thursday's missile attacks by the US were targeted at what were said to be 'terrorist-related facilities' in Afghanistan and Sudan, linked to the exiled Saudi dissident, Osama Bin Laden.

[ image: Osama bin Laden]
Osama bin Laden
He is believed responsible for the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam two weeks ago.

Pakistan's security forces remain on high alert after calls for anti-American demonstrations by Islamic parties and right-wing political groups.

Demonstrations against the United States began in the wake of the American cruise missile attacks.

Reports say dozens of Islamist activists have already held protests in front of the American Information Centre in Islamabad.

Listen to a crowd in Sudan chanting in protest at US strike
Eyewitnesses said young people from the Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) carrying banners and placards condemned the missile attack.

Riot police and paramilitary forces in Islamabad are expecting further demonstrations following Friday afternoon prayers.

[ image:  ]
Security has also been stepped up at western diplomatic missions and foreign companies in case of any retaliation by protestors.

Five Pakistani nationals died in the bombing, which reports say killed 15 people.

Strategic analyst Gordon Adams: Unlikely that the attacks were planned to divert attention from the Lewinsky affair
The Pakistani government has reacted cautiously to the air attacks, saying only that it was concerned about developments in Afghanistan.

But nearly two dozen of the country's Islamic parties and right-wing political groups, have made statements expressing outrage and condemnation.

Some have described the bombings as state terrorism, and others have said it is an attack on the entire Islamic world.

Embassy building stormed

Roger Hearing on the anger in Sudan
In Sudan, hundreds of rioters stormed an empty US embassy building.

The Sudanese authorities claim the missile fired at their territory hit a medicine factory.

[ image:  ]
Thousands of people are expected to gather in the Afghan city of Kandahar - the headquarters of the governing Muslim Taleban movement - to protest against the American missile attacks.

The authorities had already called for an official mass demonstration to protest over Iranian involvement in the Afghan civil war.

Baqer Moin of the BBC's Pashto service: "US knew there would be reprisals"
Two United Nations officials - a French national and an Italian - have been attacked in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul in the wake of the air attacks.

The two - a French national and an Italian - came under fire from unidentified gunmen while travelling through Kabul in the morning.

Both are being treated by the International Red Cross and are reported to be in a stable condition.

As the situation becomes increasingly tense following the American air attacks, most foreigners in the city are now remaining indoors. Many have already been evacuated.

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