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Tuesday, 9 October, 2001, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
US renews assault on Taleban
A US F-14 fighter takes off from the main deck of the USS Enterprise early on 9 October 2001
The US-led bombardment has entered its third day
Daylight air raids have been reported in Afghanistan, after a second night of American attacks across the country in the US-led "war on terrorism".

Fifteen Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as long-range bombers and carrier-based fighter bombers, were involved in overnight raids on targets including air defence systems, oil depots and military training camps near the cities of Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.

This is a civilian area and they have killed four of the guards of this building

Dr Shah Wali, ATC official
Taleban officials said "tens of people" have been killed since the raids began on Sunday but that their spiritual leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and Osama Bin Laden were still alive.

The United Nations, meanwhile, has appealed for protection of civilians in Afghanistan after four workers from a UN mine-clearing organisation were killed in a raid on Kabul. They were the first independently confirmed civilian deaths since the start of the US-led attacks.

Launch new window : Military glossary
Guide to the military hardware being used

The northern cities of Mazar-e-Sharif and Konduz were also reported to have been hit in the strikes, designed to weaken the Taleban and disrupt Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation, which the US says was behind the suicide attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September.

The Pentagon said all of its aircraft had returned safely from the raids, which were on a smaller scale than the previous night and did not directly involve British forces, which instead provided logistical support.

In other developments:

  • Three people are shot dead by police when a mob attacked a police station near Quetta on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan
  • Seeking to avoid more anti-US unrest Pakistani military authorities detain a third prominent pro-Taleban Islamic leader, Azam Tariq of SSP
  • Indonesian police fire warning shots, teargas and water cannon to try to disperse hundreds of Muslim protesters near the US embassy in Jakarta
  • Hundreds of students take to the streets in the Omani capital, Muscat, in protest at the US strikes
  • Nato says it is redeploying its standing naval force to the eastern half of the Mediterranean Sea "to demonstrate alliance resolve"
  • Members of the UN Security Council back the air strikes as an act of self-defence by the US, although they express concern over civilian casualties
  • Tajikistan agrees to allow US forces to use its airspace and bases for military action in Afghanistan
  • The US Federal Bureau of Investigation says it is taking a second case of anthrax in Florida "very seriously"
  • British journalist Yvonne Ridley is released by the Taleban and arrives in Pakistan

Reported strikes map

Rescue workers in Kabul dug through the rubble of a UN-funded mine-clearing organisation Afghan Technical Consultancy (ATC) which was hit by a missile killing four security guards and injuring a fifth as they slept.

"This is a civilian area and they have killed four of the guards of this building," said Dr Shah Wali - an official for the group which runs demining in one the world's most heavily mined countries.

A Taleban spokesman is quoted as saying the attacks failed to destroy any military targets. Abdul Hai Muttmain said: "The people's morale is high. Osama is okay and (Taleban leader) Mullah Omar is safe. Our future is safe."

We cannot yet state with certainty that we destroyed the dozens of military command and control and leadership targets we selected

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

The US has warned that it may launch military strikes on other nations and groups beyond Afghanistan.

"We may find that our self-defence requires further actions with respect to other organisations and other states," said the US ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, in a letter to the UN Security Council.

The latest air raids came after a senior commander with the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance, Ismail Khan, told the BBC that his forces had entered a key northern Afghan town, Chaghcharan, and were advancing on another, Qaleh-e-Nou.

He said eight Taleban commanders were captured during the operation. The Taleban have denied his claims.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Rumsfeld: "Only military targets were attacked"
The Americans have shown reporters on board the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise video tape of targets hit in the first raids on Sunday.

The BBC's Brian Barron said one showed a missile storage base blowing up in a spectacular explosion, sending a stray warhead careering across the landscape.

US President George W Bush, speaking before the second round of attacks began, said the opening raids were "executed as planned".

His Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was more downbeat.

"We cannot yet state with certainty that we destroyed the dozens of military command and control and leadership targets we selected," he said.

Bombs for use by planes from the USS Enterprise
Aircrew remembered New York police officers killed on 11 September
The Taleban said there were about 20 casualties in Kabul from Sunday's strikes, including women, children and elderly people.

The Taleban ambassador in Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, described the strikes as "a terrorist attack... not only against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, but on the whole Muslim world".

US aircraft also dropped a further 37,000 packages of food rations on drought-hit Afghanistan on Monday - about the same number as on Sunday. The United Nations World Food Programme has temporarily suspended its food convoys travelling into the country because of the US attacks.

The BBC's Nick Bryant
"Coalition forces are still finding targets for their bombs"
The BBC's Rachel Ellison
"The US air missions continued in relay, throughout the night"
UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon
"Our action will send a very clear messgae"
See also:

08 Oct 01 | South Asia
Taleban refuse to bow to US
08 Oct 01 | Americas
Americans urged to stay vigilant
08 Oct 01 | South Asia
Musharraf firm as protests erupt
08 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Blair rebuts Bin Laden on Arabic TV
08 Oct 01 | South Asia
Enduring Freedom - the first strikes
05 Oct 01 | Americas
The investigation and the evidence
09 Oct 01 | Americas
Bush's military countdown
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