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More heavy bombing in Afghanistan

Afghan capital under 'intense' bombardment

Smoke rises from a Red Cross compound near Kabul that the agency said was hit by U.S. bombing Tuesday.  

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's capital underwent another heavy round of U.S.-led attacks late Tuesday and early Wednesday, following two days of the most intense strikes of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The latest attacks on Kabul began around 10:45 p.m. (2:15 p.m. EDT) and more strikes followed two hours later, sources told CNN. The airport was hit yet again, sources said, and explosions went off within the city -- some of them so loud they could be heard 30 miles outside the capital.

In Washington, the Pentagon said more than 2,000 missiles and bombs have been used in the past 1 1/2 weeks to pound key Taliban strongholds and al Qaeda targets, and they are taking a toll on the regime.

More than 100 aircraft attacked Afghanistan on Monday, said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.

The U.S.-led campaign is doing its best "to convince the Taliban leadership that they have made an error, and their calculus some day will be that it's in their best interest to cede," said Newbold. "Yesterday was a particularly heavy day. ...Today is another intense day."

About 90 aircraft in Monday's campaign flew from four aircraft carriers in the region, while other land-based bombers participated, he said. Included in the attacks Tuesday was a U.S. special operations AC-130 Spectre gunship, which for the second day pounded troop concentrations on the ground. (Full story)

On Monday, the AC-130 aimed its firepower at a barracks or troop garrison in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. CNN sources said the airstrikes appeared to be taking a considerable toll on the city. (Full story)

In Kabul, Red Cross officials told CNN a bomb hit a warehouse belonging to the international relief agency. They said one person was injured.

On the diplomatic front, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was in India, where he met with the country's foreign minister Tuesday night. Powell planned more meetings with Indian officials Wednesday in an effort to smooth tensions with neighboring Pakistan.

Earlier, after talks with Powell, Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, pledged indefinite support to the U.S.-led military action in Afghanistan despite strong opposition from within his country. (Full story)

Speaking alongside U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, pledges support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism (October 16)

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Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization spoke with CNN's Nic Robertson. (October 15)

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CNN Exclusive: Nic Robertson reports from Jalalabad under escort from the Taliban

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Latest developments

• Transcripts published Tuesday by The New York Times offer new details about how air traffic controllers and other officials came to realize multiple hijackings were in progress on the morning of September 11. (Full story)

• Parts of eight floors of the Hart Senate Office Building were closed Tuesday in Washington to search for anthrax as further testing confirmed that a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's office contained anthrax. (Full Story)

• Federal Aviation Administration investigators plan to review records at every U.S. airport -- beginning with the 20 busiest -- to ensure that airport security screeners received proper background checks before being hired. (Full story)

• Recognizing Pakistan's support of the U.S. war on terror, the House Tuesday passed a bill that would waive economic and military sanctions imposed on the nation two years ago to punish Pakistani military leaders for their coup against the elected government. The bill, which passed the Senate earlier this month and has White House support, would waive sanctions in 2002. President Bush has already promised aid and waived other sanctions against Pakistan imposed after its 1998 nuclear weapons tests.

• The Bush administration also is urging Congress to waive long-standing sanctions against Azerbaijan as a reward for its participation in the anti-terrorism war. The country, which shares a border with Iran, has given the United States overflight rights, the use of its airbases and has cooperated with the nation in the past, Powell said in a letter Monday.

• Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev told CNN the anthrax cases indicate that terrorists are trying to destabilize America. Speaking on "Larry King Live" on Monday, Gorbachev said: "Certainly, the fact that anthrax has appeared must be another attempt by terrorists to impact the situation and to destabilize the country and to start panic." (Full story)

• In Europe, fears of bioterrorism grew after anthrax scares were investigated in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, France and Britain. (Full Story)

• Senior European Union ministers are meeting to review its counterterrorism measures -- from airline security to civil protection against biological and chemical warfare. (Full Story)

• A U.N. adviser has strongly criticized the dropping of food aid by the U.S.-led coalition during the second week of bombing in Afghanistan. (Full Story)

• U.S. planes are dropping leaflets over Afghanistan in hopes of winning support inside the country for its anti-terrorist campaign, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. (Full Story)

• Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has failed to win backing from the opposition to allow Tokyo to offer support to the U.S.-led anti-terror campaign. (Full Story)

• The number of air travelers in the United States declined 34.2 percent last month, an airline industry trade group reported. (Full Story)


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