Secretary Powell emerged from a late night dinner with Gabonese President Omar Bongo condemning the assassination attempt on the Afghan leader and suggesting to reporters it may have been the work of either al-Qaida or remnants of the Taleban, which was ousted from power last November.
Secretary Powell said:"We knew that it would take a long time to get rid of these terrorist elements, to defeat al-Qaida and the Taleban and that's why we remain engaged and we are supporting (the peace keeping force) in its efforts. But certainly I don't think anyone has claimed that the countryside or any of the cites was perfectly safe yet." He says efforts by terrorists to go after legitimate governments will only reinforce the U-S commitment to the campaign against terrorism. (SIGNED)