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Air Attacks Continue in Afghanistan - 2001-10-16


At least two bombs have exploded in Kabul, as US-led forces press on with the round the clock bombing of Taleban and terrorist targets in Afghanistan.

One bomb crashed into a Red Cross warehouse in Kabul, injuring a staff member. Afghan workers braved the smoke to recover at least 65 percent of the items, such as blankets, tents and medicine.

Heavy attacks were also reported late Monday in the area of the southern city of Kandahar, where the compound of Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is located.

U-S defense department officials said attacks in the Kandahar area involved the use of the AC-130 gunship, a turboprop airplane designed to strike convoys and troop concentrations with heavy machine guns and cannons.

U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has also indicated U-S forces may increase their attacks against Taleban troops entrenched in the Kabul area.

Mr. Rumsfeld rejected Taleban claims that U-S air strikes killed hundreds of civilians in a village near the Afghan capital last week. Describing the Taleban as "accomplished liars" Mr. Rumsfeld said the attacks were aimed at a series of deep caves, which burned violently for hours after they were struck. He said the sustained secondary explosions indicated that the caves were used for storing weapons and munitions and the people in the vicinity were clearly connected to those activities.

The U-S Defense Secretary also said U-S planes have begun dropping leaflets to assure Afghans that the air strikes are aimed at ridding their country of terrorists.

Meanwhile, the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance says its forces are poised to capture the key northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif.

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