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Fact Sheet

U.S. to Afghans: We're on your side

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A leaflet dropped by U.S. forces over Afghanistan says, "the partnership of nations is here to help."  


SUMMARY:

Round-the-clock U.S. and British airstrikes hit Afghanistan on Monday, but U.S. aircraft began dropping another payload on the country: leaflets meant to convince ordinary Afghans that the international community is on their side. Secretary of State Colin Powell, meanwhile, arrived in Islamabad on a trip meant to ease tensions between Pakistan and its nuclear-armed rival, India.

UPDATE:

U.S. warplanes and cruise missiles pounded the capital city of Kabul, the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, and the eastern city of Jalalabad on Monday, in what witnesses said appeared to be one of the heaviest daytime raids since the U.S.-led bombing campaign began October 7. The strikes continued into the night in some areas, including north of Kabul. (Full story)

Pakistan finds itself in a position of supporting the United States in its attacks on Afghanistan while pollsters find an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are cheering for Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. Despite those polls, CNN's Christiane Amanpour reports, not many businesses followed calls for a nationwide strike Monday to demonstrate support for Afghanistan's Islamic government. (Full story)

Powell arrived in Islamabad on Monday, opening his bid to calm tensions between South Asian foes Pakistan and India -- tensions that exploded Monday in an Indian artillery attack on Pakistani positions inside the disputed region of Kashmir. President Bush told reporters at the White House that the U.S. government couldn't envision a worse time for the Indians and Pakistanis to engage each other. (Full story)

Afghanistan's exiled king met Monday in the Italian capital with the foreign ministers of Italy and France, who expressed full support for his plan to bring peace to his war-ravaged homeland. Meanwhile, a spokesman for an Iran-based opposition faction claimed Northern Alliance troops were within six kilometers (3.7 miles) of the strategically vital northern Afghan town of Mazar-e Sharif. (Full story)

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Monday that Afghans with money are resorting to organized smuggling networks to move people across closed borders into neighboring countries. The relief agency reported smugglers charging about $100 for a family of six -- well beyond the reach of most families. (Full story)


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact


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KEY QUESTIONS:

When will the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban group that controls up to 10 percent of Afghanistan, begin a ground offensive to take the capital of Kabul? Are they making any progress? (Click here for more.)

What is life like in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with increasingly intense U.S. airstrikes overhead? (Click here for more.)

How long will the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan last? (Click here for more.)

What is the goal to the U.S. airstrikes over Afghanistan? What is the key to the mission's success? (Click here for more.)

What is the White House doing to prevent al Qaeda from airing what it calls "propaganda" on U.S. media outlets? (Click here for more.)

Who are the key players in the political landscape of Afghanistan, and how could U.S. military intervention affect the balance of power there? (Click here for more.)

WHO'S WHO:

George W. Bush: U.S. president

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. (Click here for more.)

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. (Click here for more.)

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Saudi exile Osama bin Laden is considered a prime suspect in the September 11 attacks.  

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Click here for more.)

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. (Click here for more.)

George Tenet: CIA director. (Click here for more.)

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedin fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban. The group controls about five percent of northern Afghanistan. ()

George Robertson: Secretary-General of NATO (and former British defense minister) (Click here for more.)

IMPACT:

The military attacks that began October 7 mark the start of what the Bush administration says will be a lengthy struggle against terrorist organizations worldwide -- one that could take years.



 
 
 
 



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