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Taliban leaders believed killed in raids

Bush announces terrorist 'most wanted' list

A fighter jet takes off from the USS Enterprise in the Arabian Sea on Wednesday.  

(CNN) -- U.S. jets continued their bombing runs over Afghanistan early Thursday, one day after a U.S. official told CNN several Taliban leaders were believed to have been killed during the first round of attacks Sunday night.

The Taliban stronghold of Kandahar was subjected to its most intense attack yet Wednesday night, triggering panic among civilians, a CNN source in the city reported.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the United States had received "highly credible" reports that the raids killed someTaliban leaders, including two adult male relatives of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

In Washington, President Bush used the FBI as a backdrop Wednesday to announce a new kind of "most wanted" list that consists of 22 terrorist suspects.

"Terrorists try to operate in the shadows, they try to hide. But we're going to shine the light of justice on them," Bush said. (Full story)

Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States, tops the new list.

Also on the list are men suspected in the bombings of the World Trade Center in 1993, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996 and the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. (List)

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Latest developments

• Federal authorities launched a criminal investigation Wednesday after a 35-year-old woman tested positive for anthrax exposure -- the third person exposed to the disease who worked at a building in Boca Raton, Florida. One man has died from the disease. Authorities said they know of no link to the September 11 terrorist attacks. (Full story)

• U.S. Capitol Police said Wednesday it would ban all commercial, agricultural and recreational vehicles over 1.25 tons from a 40-city-block area around the Capitol complex in Washington beginning at 5 a.m. Thursday because of concerns about terrorist threats.

• A B-2 stealth bomber dropped one of the most powerful conventional bombs in the Air Force arsenal -- a 5,000-pound "bunker buster" -- on a concentration of troops and equipment in Afghanistan on Tuesday. A Pentagon official said the bombing was meant to demoralize Taliban troops,

• Pentagon officials said a flying radio and television station, known as "Commando Solo," began radio broadcasts into Afghanistan Tuesday and Wednesday. The specially equipped EC-130 is capable of broadcasting on AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands using a multitude of worldwide standards.

• The Kuwaiti government Wednesday stripped Suleiman Abu-Gheith of his Kuwaiti citizenship, condemning him as a terrorist after he showed up in two videotapes as the spokesman of the al Qaeda network. Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah, Kuwait's acting prime minister, said Abu-Gheith was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

• The Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, made a radio address to the Afghan people Wednesday that included a plea to the Islamic world to come to Afghanistan's assistance.

• Workers in a U.N.-sponsored effort to clear land mines are being assaulted by the Taliban in Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad, according to a U.N. spokeswoman in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Taliban also are taking the workers' vehicles, she said.

• U.S. officials tell CNN there could be a role for ground forces in Afghanistan soon, with an emphasis on special operations. One official said it would be a "significant role at times but limited in number."

• British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on a three-day trip to the Middle East, stopped in Oman Wednesday where he briefed Omani leader Sultan Qaboos and reviewed a British force of more than 20,000 servicemen and women conducting a military exercise in the Persian Gulf country. After the meeting with Qaboos, Blair told a news conference that any country found to be fomenting terror could be targeted in the U.S.-British campaign. (Full story)

• National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice called a group of TV network executives to raise national security concerns about the airing of pre-recorded or pre-taped messages from bin Laden. Rice said those messages could contain signals to terrorists to incite attacks. (Full story)

• Pakistani military sources said Wednesday that Pakistani border guards had clashed with Taliban fighters in recent days. The sources said that Taliban fighters tried to enter Pakistan after a gun battle at the border, but were repelled. The Taliban also tried to fly several helicopter gunships over the border but were turned back, the sources said.

• The Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan denied U.S. claims that his regime's air defenses have been destroyed. Calling the United States a "global bully," Abdul Salam Zaeef denied reports that Afghanistan's opposition Northern Alliance has made advances. (Full story)

• New York Gov. George Pataki announced Wednesday the creation of a new state Office of Public Security to identify and respond to potential terrorist attacks, a state official told CNN. Pataki named former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom to head the office.

• Bush met with NATO Secretary General George Robertson at the White House on Wednesday. Bush called NATO's decision to send surveillance aircraft to help patrol and protect U.S. airspace "an unprecendented display of friendship."

• Taliban officials said Wednesday they have lifted all restrictions imposed on bin Laden, who had been barred from using telephones, fax machines and the Internet before the start of U.S. airstrikes.

• The Taliban have arrested a French journalist in Afghanistan and are threatening to charge him with espionage. He is the second international journalist to be detained in Afghanistan since September 11. (Full story)

• Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Wednesday condemned the September 11 attacks on the United States as "blind terrorism." Arafat also said he also welcomed the signals from the Bush administration of its support for a Palestinian state. (Full story)

• At least three people were arrested in Milan, Italy, in connection with a terrorist cell that has links to bin Laden. One of those arrested was already in custody on other charges. (Full story)

• Pentagon sources said Tuesday more than 1,000 U.S. troops, including special operations forces, are at the Khanabad military base near Karshi, Uzbekistan, roughly 100 miles north of Afghanistan.

• House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott said Wednesday that Bush had eased a clampdown on disclosure of classified information to Congress. Bush had reprimanded Congress this week for leaks of classified information on the U.S response to the September 11 attacks on the United States.

• The first U.S. aid shipment to pass through Iran crossed the border into Afghanistan on Wednesday. Iran, which has closed its border with Afghanistan to stem the flow of refugees, approved the shipment.

• Violent anti-U.S. protests continued in Indonesia on Wednesday. Riot police confronted hundreds of students who tried to knock down the main gate leading into the Parliament building in the capital of Jakarta. (Full story)


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