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Round-the-clock bombing

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


CNN sources said nine days of airstrikes appeared to be taking a considerable toll on the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar and the capital of Kabul. Sources told CNN more than 50 U.S. warplanes flew more than 100 sorties in the latest strikes.


More than a week of U.S.-led raids have inflicted heavy damage on Afghanistan's major cities of Kabul and Kandahar, sources inside the country told CNN as round-the-clock bombing stretched through Tuesday. The sources said bombs could be seen falling around Kabul on Tuesday morning as jet fighters streaked across the sky. A warehouse belonging to the International Committee for the Red Cross was struck by a bomb Tuesday evening, injuring one person, the relief agency told CNN. (Full story)

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf has pledged indefinite support to the United States' military action in Afghanistan despite strong opposition from within the Pakistan community. Speaking alongside U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at a press conference in Islamabad, Musharraf said he hoped the military campaign would be "short" but said Pakistan would stand beside the United States for "as long as it took to achieve the desired result." Powell is now in India and will meet with Indian officials on Tuesday evening. (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. The twinning of military action with aid endangers civilian lives and puts future relief operations at risk by weakening the idea that the humanitarian effort is neutral, Jean Zeigler, U.N. adviser on food policy told reporters. (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)

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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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.)


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.)

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.)


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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