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Kandahar under fire; agreement reached in Germany

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U.S.-led forces on Tuesday kept up their round-the-clock assault on the Taliban's last stronghold in Afghanistan as airstrikes targeted the Kandahar airport.

Meanwhile in Germany, Afghan factions reached agreement on an interim post-Taliban government for Afghanistan.


Fighting was intense in Kandahar, sources said, with ethnic Pashtun fighters on the ground keeping up the pressure on Taliban forces. Kandahar's airport is partially under Pashtun control, sources said. (Full story)

The agreement reached in Germany calls for a 29-member ruling council that would govern Afghanistan for six months and a multinational peacekeeping force in the capital, Kabul. After six months, a traditional Afghan assembly would be convened to decide on a more permanent government. (Full story)

A man reputed to be Osama bin Laden's top deputy reportedly was wounded in an airstrike in Afghanistan. Pashtun commanders, speaking from Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, said that Ayman al-Zawahiri was injured Monday. U.S. officials told CNN they had no information confirming the report and CNN could independently confirm the report. (Full story)

Anti-Taliban forces fought a brief gun battle with al Qaeda gunmen Tuesday in the hills near Jalalabad, their commander said. The brief skirmish took place on the approach to the mountains around Tora Bora, said Hazrat Ali, the security chief in Jalalabad. Ali said advance troops sent to the area had engaged al Qaeda fighters with small arms in a firefight that lasted several minutes. He said there were no casualties and the al Qaeda gunmen fled. (Full story)

Pakistan welcomed the agreement on a future government for Afghanistan reached by the Afghan opposition groups and offered to contribute to reconstruction efforts for its Central Asian neighbor. (Full story)

At a meeting of senior al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan within the last year, a member of the terrorist network displayed a cylinder and said it contained radiological material that could be used in a so-called "dirty bomb," according to U.S. officials. (Full story)

In his first television interview since his son made headlines, Frank Lindh, the father of an American who fought with the Taliban, said he hopes that the United States will show mercy on his son, John Walker. (Full story)

President Bush on Tuesday announced another wave of law enforcement activity in the United States and overseas designed to choke off financial support for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. (Full story)

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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Who are the Northern Alliance and other 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)

Will the Taliban surrender or will they continue to fight, possibly launching a guerilla war out of Afghanistan's mountains? (Click here for more)

Where is Mullah Omar Mohammed, the spiritual leader of the Taliban?

What kind of government will replace the Taliban if the religious group is removed as the country's government? Will there be a U.N. or international peacekeeping force in Kabul? (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)


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)

The Taliban: A group of Islamic fundamentalists, mainly from Afghanistan's Pashtun ethnic group, which is the country's largest ethnic group. The Taliban that gained control of most of the country by 1997 and instituted an extreme form of Islamic law. (Click here for more)

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban. (Click here for more)

George Robertson: NATO secretary-general and former British defense minister. (Click here for more)

George Tenet: CIA director. (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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