A relentless assault
At least seven people were reported killed Thursday as Kabul came under intense attack from U.S.-led airstrikes on Afghanistan, sources told CNN. Kandahar, the spiritual and administrative center of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, was also targeted. However, Afghans living in the eastern province of Nagrahar told CNN that the Taliban are exaggerating reports of civilian casualties from U.S. raids there.
Attacks around Kabul, the country's capital, were aimed at a military base and air defenses, and there were reports of strikes against a Taliban tank unit. Fires from a fuel depot hit in Wednesday's airstrikes covered Kabul with thick, black smoke. In Kandahar, one of the Taliban's commando units may have been hit, sources told CNN. (Full story)
Afghans from the eastern province of Nagrahar told CNN that the Taliban exaggerated reports of civilian casualties in a bombed-out village they displayed to a group of international journalists Sunday. CNN's Nic Robertson was among the journalists who traveled to Koram, about 60 miles west of the Nagrahar's provincial capital, Jalalabad. (Full story)
The Pentagon is sending radio broadcasts into Afghanistan telling the Taliban they are "condemned," and the messages seem to suggest that U.S. troops will eventually be on the ground in that country. (Full story)
U.S. President George W. Bush has landed in China for his first trip abroad since the September 11 terrorist attacks, but he is sure to keep the anti-terror fight high on the agenda during the Asia-Pacific meet. (Full story)
A meeting of exiled Afghan mujahedeen commanders, tribal elders and religious leaders ended Thursday with a resolution condemning terrorism and blaming Afghanistan's Taliban leaders for the U.S. bombing of the Central Asian nation. But the group also came down firmly against the introduction of international ground troops in Afghanistan. (Full story)
Japan's Lower House has passed a bill allowing its troops to give logistical support to America and its allies in overseas military operations for the first time since World War II. The bill clarifies the role Japan's military could play in U.S.-led operations without violating the nation's pacifist constitution. (Full story)
The former king of Afghanistan is actively working to create a provisional government that will step in should the ruling Taliban be ousted from power, an envoy to the king tells CNN. (Full story)
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.)
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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