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Monday, 5 November, 2001, 17:20 GMT
Under attack: Life in Kabul
Smoke rising from a village north of Kabul
Kabul and its environs are frequent targets
Zalmai, an Afghan listener to BBC News Online's Talking Point programme, says he has experienced the bombing of Kabul first hand.

He contacted the programme on Sunday to give his opinions on the conflict.

Zalmai [full name witheld] said he had lived through night after night of air strikes and seen the effects they had on the people around him.


When you talk to any Afghan who didn't like the Taleban three or four weeks ago, now they like the Taleban

Zalmai
Asked how much impact the bombing has had on the residents of Kabul, he said: "It has affected a big number of people. Everybody has been affected by it psychologically - you never know when the bombs will come."

He also spoke about the alleged mistakes, when bombs hit unintended targets.

"When we have witnessed the bombings, unfortunately it has been feeding hatred against the American Government because of the military campaign - and because of the repeated mistakes the stray bombs have been making on several occasions in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan.

"It's not been indiscriminate bombing, but we have been witnessing repeated mistakes," he said.

"Altogether we have had 13 to 14 mistakes that have occurred in Kabul - we don't know about Jalalabad, Herat or Kandahar."

He said that while there was no violence on the streets, people's attitudes were hardening against the military campaign.

"There are no riots but inwardly when you talk to any Afghan who didn't like the Taleban probably three or four weeks ago - now they like the Taleban," he said.

He talked of people losing hope and accusing the world of forgetting them, not noticing the effect and impact of the bombings.

Bin Laden's guilt

He also spoke of the longevity of the campaign. "They [the Americans] were saying at the beginning that they would be able to get rid of the Taleban within two or three days - this is not happening and they have found it very tough, and this has unified the Taleban as a whole."

Northern Alliance fighter with tanks
Opposition fighters say they are ready to advance
While he acknowledged that the Taleban did have their negative aspects, he also criticised American policy. One of the main points Zalmai was anxious to get across concerned the assumed guilt of Osama Bin Laden.

"We want to know - like many other ordinary people in the world - why the Americans are not showing the evidence of Osama Bin Laden's involvement in these 11 September attacks in the United States," he said.

"If this man was involved, it could rally support behind the Americans and the international alliance."

According to Zalmai, Afghans in Kabul are "saying that Osama Bin Laden has turned [into] the scapegoat for the Americans, and the Americans have to show their power to calm down their public at home, and for that they will go after Bin Laden and the Taleban."

See also:

02 Nov 01 | South Asia
The Taleban: Accommodating hosts
05 Nov 01 | Talking Point
Is the war strategy clear?
05 Nov 01 | South Asia
Taleban fighters 'killed in Kabul raid'
21 Oct 01 | South Asia
US attacks Taleban front line
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