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Thursday, 25 October, 2001, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Voices from Afghanistan
Injured children are brought into a medical centre
Non-combatants have been caught in the bombing
The bombardment of Afghanistan has caused untold numbers of people to flee their homes - as much as 70% of the population of three major Afghan cities is on the move, the United Nations has said.

While the Pentagon admits only that a few bombs have gone astray, refugees and internally displaced persons who spoke to the BBC say that innocent people have borne the brunt of the attacks.

Mohammed Gul, who worked at Kandahar military hospital, spoke to the BBC in the Pakistani border city of Quetta:

"Since the American bombing started a lot of people died. Bombs were hitting people's houses. They damaged lots of houses and they injured and killed lots of innocent people. We were there and I saw about 50 people who died and some became injured.

Boy refugee at a refugee camp
Many people desperately need aid
"There are no health facilities and medicine. The Taleban do not have the power to stop American bombing, because the planes are very high and the anti-aircraft [guns] can't reach them. When the bombing stops, people came out of their houses and continue their life under the pressure of war.

"Because of the bombing no one can sleep. Women and children can not eat or drink anything. Everyone is looking to the sky and waiting and thinking when will the American aircraft come and start killing them."

Man from Helmand, in southern Afghanistan, speaking on arrival in Quetta:

"The situation is somehow all right, but the bombs are going on the wrong places. They don't damage any military headquarters but they are killing innocent people.

"The places where Taleban were before are not there anymore. They moved out and went to mountains and other places where they can hide."

People arriving in Quetta from Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan:

"The situation was very bad in Kandahar. Americans were bombing day and night.

"The Taleban and Osama [Bin Laden] didn't face any damage, but innocent people were injured and killed. Homes were destroyed.

Internally displaced family in southern Afghanistan
Whole families are on the move
"All people are leaving and coming here. Children are dying. America was bombing innocent people's houses not military headquarters.

"A lot of people died and many were injured. About 200 or 300 houses were damaged."

A resident of Kabul speaking of the destruction in the capital:

"The street next to my home was bombed, and 18 were killed and 23 injured. Everything was destroyed there.

"The doors and window glass of our homes were broken. I have a baby child, one and a half years old. Even she is afraid of the plane sounds and bombing, and she runs towards me and hugs me when the planes come over.

"I am surprised by those who claim to be defending human rights. Those who claim that the terror attacks were carried out by the followers of Osama and his group, may be wrong.

"But still if they are right, two buildings have been destroyed and some people have been killed.

I expect America not to kill the poor Afghans - they are hungry and poor

Feriba, a young child
"Anyway now it has been done, and we are also sorry for the victims of the attack. But now these American and British planes have added our nation's blood [to that of the dead in Washington and New York] and they have made all people frightened.

"No one can go to sleep for whole night up to the morning. Their planes come proudly at a low altitude and as a result the plastic in all our windows and doors - whose glass has already been broken - started shaking in this cold weather.

"In the Darulaman area they again carried out a heavy bombardment in which many houses were destroyed and many people have been washed in blood and made another disaster.

"At the moment when I am talking to you, the planes are going up and down and who knows what might be their goal and what disaster might happen again to the poor and innocent people."

Afghan children in Peshawar, Pakistan, worry about US-led bombing in their country.

Sultan Sarwar, a young boy:

"It has been three days since I arrived in Peshawar from Jalalabad. My uncles are still there. My school was closed because of the fighting and bombing there. My classmate Zubair is still there."

Hamid, a nine-year-old boy:

Refugee girl in southern Afghanistan
Children are worried about the attacks
"As America started its bombing in Afghanistan, my parents sent me to Peshawar with the hope [that I would] not be killed there. Now I am living in my uncle's home. I miss my parents and other family members very much."

Feriba, a young girl:

"I and all my classmates are very sad because of the situation in our homeland. When our teacher said in the class that many people have been killed in Afghanistan, I and my all classmates started weeping because everyone has relatives there. I expect America not to kill the poor Afghans. They are hungry and poor."

Despite US radio broadcasts in local languages, many Afghans have no clear idea of why they are under attack.

An ironmonger in the small town of Hojibahodin:

"Bin Laden killed many donkeys and many people and animals, and they killed (Northern Alliance commander Ahmed Shah) Masood. That's why they are attacking."

See also:

24 Oct 01 | South Asia
Afghans discuss political future
24 Oct 01 | South Asia
Pakistan rejects militants' bodies
23 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: The tough battle for Mazar
16 Oct 01 | Americas
Why bombing can go wrong
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