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Heavy U-S Bombardment of Taleban - 2001-10-27


U-S warplanes pounded Taleban and terrorist targets north of the Afghan capital of Kabul all day Saturday in what witnesses say was the heaviest day of bombing yet in the 21-day-old war.

One report says a stray U-S bomb struck an opposition-controlled village in the north, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20 others. U-S defense officials cannot confirm the report.

The family of exiled Afghan opposition commander Abdul Haq -- executed Friday by the Taleban for alleged spying -- says his body will be returned to Pakistan today (Sunday) for burial.

Commander Haq -- a hero in the resistance against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s -- will be buried in the city of Peshawar. The Taleban captured and hanged him Friday, accusing him of spying for the United States and Britain.

Mr. Haq had crossed into Afghanistan last week to persuade tribesmen to support a post-Taleban government to be headed by ousted King Mohammad Zahir Shah.

In a statement sent to V-O-A Saturday from Rome, the former king condemned the execution of Commander Haq as an act of terrorism.

Other members of the former Afghan government call Commander Haq's death a severe blow to establishing a moderate government in Afghanistan. They say the execution shows the Taleban was scared of him.

Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf Saturday downplayed Commander Haq's importance to a future Afghanistan. He said Mr. Haq had been out of the picture in Afghanistan too long to have had any real impact on a new government.

Also Saturday, the United Nations says a stray U-S bomb hit a U-N kennel in Kabul Thursday, killing two highly-trained mine-sniffing dogs.

A U-N spokeswoman called the dogs very valuable, saying only 200 dogs are trained to sniff out mines in Afghanistan -- one of the world's most heavily-mined countries.

The Pentagon has not confirmed the bombing.

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