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Airstrikes resume near Kandahar

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Smoke rises into the skies over Afghanistan after U.S-led airstrikes pounded Taliban positions near the Bagram Air Base Tuesday.  


SUMMARY:

Airstrikes resumed Wednesday evening on the Taliban-controlled southern city of Kandahar, after waning in the afternoon, according to the Qatar-based TV network Al Jazeera. U.S. fighter jets struck targets around Kabul and the front lines north of the capital as well.

UPDATE:

For the fourth day in a row, U.S. fighters struck Taliban military positions along the front lines north of Kabul. Fighter jets were seen above the mountains where Taliban fighters are entrenched and bombs were heard exploding. The jets were met with anti-aircraft fire. Plumes of black smoke were seen in the area. (Full story)

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said that while he hopes goals of the U.S. military campaign against Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and the Taliban will be accomplished in the next few days, he could not rule out an engagement into Ramadan and winter. (Full story)

Residents of Chowker Korez, a village 62 miles northwest of Kandahar, told CNN Wednesday that dozens of people were killed Monday night and more than 20 wounded in an attack by U.S. forces. The claims could not be independently confirmed. A CNN Afghan crew went to the village and said it was heavily damaged. A Pentagon spokeswoman said she had no information concerning such an incident. (Full story)

The United Nations detailed the effects of the U.S. strikes on the Afghan civilian population, saying about 70 percent of the western city of Herat -- with a population of 1 million -- has fled in fear. U.N. officials also said the United States needs to explain to aid workers how to disarm the unexploded munitions on the ground, which pose a deadly hazard to civilians. (Full story)

A conference of around 800 Afghan opposition leaders meeting in Pakistan has endorsed a plan for a post-Taliban government for their country. Under the plan, Afghanistan's former king would become head of state and a U.N. security force made up from Islamic states would restore order in the war-ravaged country. (Full story)

Under an agreement with the Taliban, Pakistan has begun sending illegal refugees back to Afghanistan. The Taliban announced Tuesday it was setting up tent camps within Afghanistan's border close to Pakistan to help ease a worsening refugee crisis. (Full story)

 VIDEO
The Taliban says it shot down a U.S. aircraft, and that this video proves it. The Pentagon denies the report, calling the claim 'lies.' (October 22)

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(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

CNN's Kamal Hyder was one of the few reporters with access to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. (October 22)

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(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

The strikes seem to be in support of the Northern Alliance's military campaign. CNN's Matthew Chance reports (October 22)

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(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
 

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact


Attack on America
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 EXTRA INFORMATION
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
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 RESOURCES
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk

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 of 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 (Click here for more.)

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 mujahedeen 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.)

Gen. Tom Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command. (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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