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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
US strikes continue in daylight
US bombers involved in operations against Afghanistan
Attacks by day and night as US claims 'air supremacy'
The United States has carried out more daylight air raids on Afghanistan after officials in Washington said their forces had secured air supremacy following a series of night-time attacks.

We believe we now are able to carry out operations more or less around the clock

Donald Rumsfeld
Taleban sources said they had responded with anti-aircraft fire as American planes bombed the airport in the southern city of Kandahar for the third time in 24 hours. The Taleban said the attacks failed to destroy its defence systems.

The next stage of the American campaign could involve the use of ground troops and special forces, the BBC Washington correspondent says.

The Americans will also develop a strategy of hitting Taleban forces - and the fighters of Saudi-born militant Osama Bin Laden - whenever they present themselves as targets, our correspondent says.

Taleban officials said a residential area near the capital Kabul was hit overnight and several people had been killed.

Launch new window : Detailed map
Click here for a detailed map of the strikes so far
There was no independent confirmation of this or other Taleban claims that dozens of civilians have been killed or injured.

Kandahar - the Taleban's spiritual centre - has been repeatedly targeted since the strikes began on Sunday night.

Omar, Bin Laden alive

Key Taleban air defence systems are based around the city, where Taleban leader Mullah Omar and at least 300 Bin Laden supporters live.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Rumsfeld: "85% of targets destroyed"
Taleban officials said Mullah Omar and Bin Laden had survived the US-led raids.

On Wednesday the Taleban said they had lifted restrictions on Bin Laden and he was free to wage a holy war against America.

He had previously been banned from communicating with the outside world, they said.

'Burning food aid'

The Taleban said Afghans were burning food parcels dropped by US forces.

"The Americans are killing us and attacking us, and we don't need this food," a spokesman said.

Jalalabad in the east and the western cities of Herat and Shindand are also reported to have come under attack.

Afghanistan's only domestic radio station, Radio Voice of Shariat, was reported to have fallen silent.

The US-led military campaign is aimed at neutralising Bin Laden - accused of organising the 11 September attacks on the US - and the Taleban, who are sheltering him.

Ground operations possible

The initial stage of the operation has aimed to destroy the Taleban's anti-aircraft missiles and aircraft on the ground, disrupt their command centres and render air strips unusable, the BBC defence correspondent says.

rubble of a building of a UN-funded mine-clearing organisation
The Taleban say dozens of civilians have been killed
This could pave the way for ground operations, but Washington has refused to be drawn on the specifics of the next phase.

The United States has been given the use of at least two air bases in Pakistan, but only for emergency recovery operations and not to launch attacks on Afghanistan, official Pakistani sources said.

Some US forces have arrived at the bases in the cities of Jacobabad and Pasni.

Protests in Islamic countries

The strikes have triggered protests across the Muslim world.

In Pakistan, three people were shot dead by police on Tuesday when a mob attacked a police station near the town of Quetta on the Afghan border.

Anti-American protests also took place in Egypt, Oman, Iraq, Indonesia, Sudan and the Philippines.

Civilians killed

United Nations workers were among the first civilian casualties reported in the US attacks.

Northern Alliance soldiers
The Northern Alliance says 40 Taleban commanders have defected into its ranks
The office of a UN-funded mine-clearing organisation was hit, killing four security guards and injuring a fifth.

The anti-Taleban Northern Alliance claims to have gained ground, helped by American jets which an Alliance spokesman said had bombed Taleban positions on a front line north of the capital Kabul.

The Alliance also claimed to have seized control of the main north-south road after 40 Taleban commanders and 1,200 fighters had changed sides.

But the Taleban said they had repelled an Alliance assault in the northern province of Gur.

None of the claims could be independently verified.

The BBC's Paul Adams
"Phase one of this campaign may be drawing to a close"
The BBC's James Robbins
"The Taleban regime is still in place, and increasingly defiant"
See also:

09 Oct 01 | South Asia
Summary of targets so far
10 Oct 01 | Middle East
Islamic warning over wider attacks
09 Oct 01 | South Asia
Fears of Afghan food crisis
09 Oct 01 | Americas
Bush's military countdown
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