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U-S Forces Continue Pounding Taleban, Terrorist Targets in Afghanistan - 2001-10-17


U-S forces are continuing heavy air raids on Taleban and terrorist targets in Afghanistan - with the military campaign now in its eleventh day.

Five or six loud explosions rocked the capital, Kabul, as U-S planes resumed day-time bombing today (Wednesday). Targets were also hit in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the Taleban stronghold of Kandahar to the southeast.

U-S defense officials say Western forces have used more than two thousand bombs and missiles since the attacks began after sundown on October seventh.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press says the Taleban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad has told his followers his believes the Taleban will triumph over the United States.

Late Tuesday, U-S officials acknowledged that U-S bombs accidentally hit Red Cross warehouses in Kabul, saying that U-S forces did not know the Red Cross was using one or more of the facilities.

Red Cross officials say the buildings were clearly marked as civilian facilities. One Red Cross staff member was injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, Australia is deploying more than 15-hundred military personnel to join the U-S - led campaign in Afghanistan. Australian Prime Minister John Howard says the units -- which include four fighter planes and two refueling aircraft -- will be in position by mid-November.

In another development, U-S officials say the Taleban could soon lose control of the key northern city of Mazar-i-Shaif. The opposition Northern Alliance says its forces have fought to within a few kilometers of the city.

The opposition's foreign minister (Abdullah Abdullah) says the group will reject any future Afghan government that includes the Taleban.

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