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Sunday, 14 October, 2001, 22:12 GMT 23:12 UK
Bush shuns latest Taleban offer
Shell in village of Kouram
Reporters were earlier shown a devastated village
US President George W Bush has rejected an offer by Afghanistan's ruling Taleban to discuss handing over Saudi militant Osama Bin Laden.

There's no need to negotiate - all they've got to do is turn Bin Laden over

President Bush
Mr Bush ruled out any negotiation, and said all the Taleban had to do was hand over Bin Laden, who is suspected of masterminding last month's terror attacks on the United States.

The Taleban's second-in-command, Maulvi Abdul Kabir, said Bin Laden could be sent to a neutral country if the US halted air strikes, and repeated a demand to be shown evidence of his connection to the attacks.

The offer came as a second week of US-led air raids began.

Click here for a map of recent air strikes

The Qatari satellite TV station al-Jazeera said that Taleban front line positions north of the capital Kabul were being targeted. There were other reports of explosions in Kabul and the southern Taleban stronghold of Kandahar.

George Bush
Bush dismissed the Taleban offer within an hour
President Bush dismissed the Taleban's latest offer of a compromise within an hour of it being made.

"There's no need to negotiate," he said. "There's no discussion. I told them exactly what to do. All they've got to do is turn [Bin Laden] over."

He added that the Taleban should also hand over Bin Laden's colleagues, destroy his training camps and release foreign aid workers currently detained in Afghanistan.

In other developments:

  • The opposition Northern Alliance in Afghanistan say they will not launch an offensive to capture Kabul before a political agreement is reached on a post-Taleban settlement
  • Police in Pakistan fire shots and teargas to disperse protesters near an air base thought to be in use by US personnel, killing one protester
  • A spokesman for Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation warns US and UK citizens that it will retaliate for the raids
  • Tony Blair - who will meet Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Monday - says military action must be balanced with progress in Middle East negotiations
  • Air Canada confirms that one of its airliners that was due to fly from Toronto to New York on 11 September was subsequently found to have knives concealed on board

Earlier on Sunday, the Taleban took a group of international journalists to a village near the city of Jalalabad in the east of the country where they say nearly 200 residents were killed by US bombing last week.

Anti-US demonstrators in Pakistan
Civilian deaths have provoked anti-US demonstrations
BBC reporter Rahim Ullah Yusuf Zai said the village, which stank of rotting corpses, had been completely destroyed and that journalists had been shown shrapnel and an unexploded bomb.

US military officials have not confirmed the attack, which is said to have taken place last Wednesday.

But our reporter says he is in no doubt that the devastation in the village was caused by a US strike.

The reporters were met with furious protests by distraught locals, many of whom said they had lost relatives in the attack.

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

Click here to return

The BBC's Hilary Andersson, in Washington
"The Americans are clear they will not change their position"
The BBC's James Robbins
"The Taleban are urging talks again"
See also:

14 Oct 01 | Americas
Military campaign: One week on
14 Oct 01 | Middle East
Kuwait disowns Bin Laden aide
14 Oct 01 | Middle East
Saudi man denies funding al-Qaeda
14 Oct 01 | Middle East
Al-Qaeda threatens US and UK
14 Oct 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Warriors on land and sea
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