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Casualties from errant bomb

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An errant U.S. bomb killed three U.S. soldiers and five opposition forces fighting with them near Kandahar on Wednesday, the Pentagon announced. Nineteen others were injured and evacuated to a Marine base.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, anti-Taliban mujahedeen fighters were engaged with a large pocket of al Qaeda fighters Wednesday in the eastern part of the country and sources reported intense fighting Wednesday in Kandahar with the city's airport partially controlled by anti-Taliban ethnic Pashtun fighters.


The three U.S. soldiers with Special Operations and opposition forces were killed when a U.S. B-52 bomber missed its target north of Kandahar, Afghanistan, U.S. military officials said Wednesday. Helicopters were evacuating the 19 injured troops to the newly established Marine base south of Kandahar. (Full story)

Sources reported intense fighting Wednesday in Kandahar -- the largest remaining Taliban stronghold. Ethnic Pashtun fighters were pressing on, and sources said the airport is partially under the control of Pashtun fighters. (Full story)

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, anti-Taliban fighters were engaged with a large pocket of al Qaeda fighters Wednesday at the foothills of the Tora Bora mountains in the eastern part of the country, where suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden might be hiding, according to Hazrat Ali, head of security and police for the Eastern Alliance in Jalalabad. (Full story)

Meanwhile, delegates meeting in Bonn, Germany, have selected anti-Taliban commander Hamid Karzai to head an interim government in Afghanistan. A U.N. spokesman confirmed to CNN that the four Afghan factions at the Bonn meeting had approved a group of names to fill posts in the Cabinet that will run the country for the next six months. (Full story)

Hamid Karzai, the Pashtun tribal chief chosen to head the interim post-Taliban administration in Afghanistan, is unusually qualified to shoulder the huge task of trying to lead his war-torn country back to normal life. (Full story)

The U.N. refugee agency said that the number of Afghan refugees heading home from Iran has exceeded 24,000 people since the Taliban's hold on the western Afghan city of Herat was broken last month.

The United States is taking the first steps to re-establish diplomatic ties with Afghanistan now that Afghan opposition groups have agreed on a post-Taliban transitional government. (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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