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British commandos ready for action

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SUMMARY:

The Taliban executed Abdul Haq, a key Afghan opposition figure, on Friday after charging him with spying. Great Britain also announced that 4,200 military personnel will join Operation Enduring Freedom, including commandos that will be available immediately for ground operations in Afghanistan.

UPDATE:

Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the Taliban executed former mujahedeen commander Abdul Haq in Kabul on Friday. According to an independent, non-Taliban source in Pakistan, the Taliban convicted Haq and two associates of spying for the United States, after a brief trial Friday afternoon. After their sentences were read, all three were executed (Full story)

British Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram announced the British troop deployment during a speech to the House of Commons. The task force will consist of 4,200 military personnel, including 200 Royal Marine commandos who will be immediately available for ground operations in Afghanistan. (Full story)

Heavy bombing was carried out around the Afghanistan capital of Kabul on Friday, destroying several warehouses in a Red Cross compound, a Red Cross spokesman told CNN. (Full story)

Russia will send the opposition Northern Alliance more than 100 armored vehicles, including 40 T-55 tanks, U.S. officials told CNN. The opposition is heavily outgunned and outnumbered by the Taliban, and U.S. airstrikes have targeted the Taliban's front lines in apparent support of alliance troops.

Along with its bombing campaign, the U.S. military is flying daily humanitarian relief missions, dropping food rations the people of drought-ravaged Afghanistan. In one northern Afghan village, residents are thankful for the air drops. (Full story)

 VIDEO
The Pentagon is hinting it may send ground troops into urban areas to find Taliban and al Qaeda forces. CNN's Jamie McIntyre reports (October 24)

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General Tommy Franks, commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command, talks to the press in Bahrain regarding the campaign against Afghanistan (October 24)

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  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact


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KEY QUESTIONS:

What kind of government will replace the Taliban if the religious group is removed as the country's government? (Click here for more)

Where are the Taliban positioning troops and equipment in civilian areas? Does this factor into where the U.S. decides to strike? (Click here for more)

What effect will the support and opposition within Pakistan of the U.S.-led military strikes have on the war against terrorism?

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.)

Gen. Tommy Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command. (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.)

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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