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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Taleban refuse to bow to US
Osama Bin Laden
Bin Laden 'not hurt' in attacks, the Taleban say
Afghanistan's ruling Taleban say they will "forcefully resist" the US-led military campaign against them that began on Sunday evening.

The decision was reached at an emergency meeting of the Taleban cabinet which agreed to strengthen military deployments.

We will resist America as we resisted the Russians

Taleban spokesman in Kabul
"We have also worked out a strategy for fighting," Taleban spokesman Mullah Amir Khan was reported as telling the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press agency.

"We will resist America as we resisted the Russians," he said.

On Sunday Osama Bin Laden warned America that it would never be safe until its troops had withdrawn from Saudi Arabia.

'No change'

The Taleban spokesman insisted on Monday that it would not hand over Bin Laden, a guest of the Taleban since 1996.

Kabul resident leaving the city
Leaving Kabul after the bombing
"There is no change in our policy about Osama... we always believe in negotiations."

The cabinet's deputy chairman accused America of targeting the Muslim faith.

"The US cannot tolerate a pure Islamic government. It wants to eradicate Islamic conviction," Mullah Mohammad Hassan told the Taleban news agency, the French News agency AFP reports.

But he warned America: "Afghans are used to hard tasks. They will never lose their jihad [holy war] morale."

Bin Laden 'unhurt'

Earlier in Islamabad, the Taleban's ambassador to Pakistan said that some 20 civilians had been killed in the air raids.

America was hit by God in one of its softest spots

Osama Bin Laden
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef said Bin Laden, America's prime suspect for the 11 September terror attacks on New York and the Pentagon, was not one of them.

"This action is not only against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan but this is a terrorist attack on the whole Muslim world," Mr Zaeef said, in a string of defiant comments to the world's press.

He confirmed that bombs had exploded in the district of Kandahar that is the home to the Taleban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, but said his house had not been damaged.

Mr Zaeef also said one plane had been shot down. The Pentagon says all American planes returned to base safely.

US 'full of fear'

Osama Bin Laden has warned the United States that it will never enjoy security until the Palestinians also feel secure, and not until "the infidel's armies leave the land of Mohammed."

US Air Force warplane
The US has formidable air power at its disposal
This was apparently a reference to the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia, where most of Islam's holiest shrines are located.

The statement by Bin Laden was broadcast on al-Jazeera television in Qatar two hours after the US and Britain began attacks on Afghanistan.

According to the station, it was recorded during daylight hours on Sunday.

"America was hit by God in one of its softest spots," Bin Laden said.

"America is full of fear from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank God for that."

He did not claim responsibility for the 11 September attacks but warned US citizens they should fear further attacks.

"To America I say I swear by God the great... America will never taste security and safety unless we feel security and safety in our lands and in Palestine.

"They will not feel safe until the troops of the United States of America withdraw from the Muslim holy places."

Osama Bin Laden
"Every Muslim should support his religion"
The BBC's Mike Baker
has been monitoring the region's press since the attacks
See also:

07 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden's warning: full text
07 Oct 01 | South Asia
US begins military strike
07 Oct 01 | Americas
Timeline: Afghanistan air strikes
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
Who is Osama Bin Laden?
20 Sep 01 | Americas
What is terrorism?
20 Sep 01 | Americas
The trail to Bin Laden
19 Sep 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Who are the Taleban?
20 Sep 01 | Americas
Powell's challenge
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
Profile: Mullah Mohammed Omar
20 Sep 01 | Americas
Cheney: Power behind the throne
20 Sep 01 | Americas
Profile: Donald Rumsfeld
05 Oct 01 | Americas
The investigation and the evidence
25 Sep 01 | Americas
Guide to military strength
08 Oct 01 | South Asia
Key targets for US forces
08 Oct 01 | South Asia
Kabul tense as residents flee
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
The Taleban military machine
08 Oct 01 | South Asia
Musharraf firm as protests erupt
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