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Saturday, 13 October, 2001, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
US renews assault on Afghanistan
US fighter-bomber aircraft (Source: Pentagon)
US and British forces took part in the raids
The United States has resumed bombing and missile attacks against the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the ruling Taleban's southern stronghold of Kandahar.

Eyewitnesses in Kabul reported at least four explosions in two separate raids, with at least one bomb hitting the airport.


We didn't think they would target civilians. They said they would target military positions and not civilian houses

Qalai Wakil resident
The air raids, which were suspended on Friday during a Muslim holy day, began again as dawn broke on Saturday morning.

"From my house I could see a bomb land on the airport. I saw a fireball, debris flying up into the sky," a Kabul resident said.

BBC sources in Kabul say at least one person was killed and three others injured in the village of Qalai Wakil near the airport, and a number of houses destroyed.

damaged house
The Taleban say civilians are being targeted
"We didn't think they would target civilians. They said they would target military positions and not civilian houses," a Qalai Wakil resident said, quoted by the AFP news agency.

Residents of Kandahar reported two or three big explosions at a Taleban military camp in the town, while a Taleban official said the bombardment had been directed at the airport.

"I personally counted seven to eight cruise missile explosions and the planes were circling around Kandahar," Culture Ministry official Mohammed Hamid told AFP.

Click here to see a map of the areas hit by recent strikes

The Kabul correspondent of the Arabic-language al-Jazeera TV network said earlier US-led attacks appeared to have weakened Taleban defences.

"We used to know there was a raid when we first heard the ground defences," he said.

"Now we know there is an air raid when we hear the explosions of the bombs dropped by the aircraft. Therefore, we conclude that the radar stations may have been damaged or are malfunctioning."


We used to know there was a raid when we first heard the ground defences. Now we know there is an air raid when we hear the explosions

Al-Jazeera correspondent
The resumption of the raids, which involved US and British forces, came after Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declined to say whether the campaign would be suspended for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins in mid-November.

President George W Bush has offered the ruling Taleban regime in Afghanistan one last chance to hand over Islamic militant Osama Bin Laden, who is suspected of masterminding the 11 September terror attacks on the US. He warned that the alternative was a military operation that could last for years.

The Taleban have accused the US of deliberately targeting civilians as part of its bombing campaign. They say at least 200 people were killed in air strikes on a remote village east of Kabul two days ago.

Mr Rumsfeld has said the US regrets any loss of innocent lives, but has denied that its forces are deliberately hitting civilian targets.

Afghan radio station after attack
The US insists the targets are all military
As the threat of more raids remains, there is widespread fear among residents of Kabul, with many choosing to flee the city.

The Taleban says that about 300 civilians have been killed in the raids which began on 7 October, including more than 200 killed in the village of Kadam, about 125 kilometres east of Kabul.

The village is in an area where Bin Laden is believed to train members of his al-Qaeda network.

Only five civilian deaths have been independently confirmed so far.




Reported strikes 13 October
Launch new window : Detailed map
Click here for a detailed map of the strikes so far

Click here to return

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's sarah Lockett
"Powerful explosions shattered the night in Kabul"
The BBC's Ben Brown reports
says the Northern Alliance are continuing with the attacks
Robert Fox, Evening Standard
"It looks very disjointed; the campaign so far"
See also:

13 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
US and Uzbekistan agree pact
12 Oct 01 | South Asia
Fear and defiance inside Afghanistan
11 Oct 01 | South Asia
Plain sailing for US air force
11 Oct 01 | Americas
Analysis: Washington's next phase
10 Oct 01 | South Asia
Summary of targets so far
11 Oct 01 | South Asia
Mapping Afghanistan's political future
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