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Amanpour: Reports of heavy casualties

CNN's Christiane Amanpour
CNN's Christiane Amanpour  

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Round-the-clock U.S. airstrikes on Afghanistan continued into daylight hours Wednesday, pounding targets in Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad. CNN sources said the Vice and Virtue Ministry building in Kandahar was hit as well as some populated areas.

Meanwhile, there is increased political tension between Pakistan and India.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour is based in Islamabad, and she filed this report:

AMANPOUR: Our sources are telling us of another day of heavy bombardment against different targets in different cities in Afghanistan. In Jalalabad, our sources there said it appeared that the television tower was being attacked.

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In Kandahar especially, we're getting a lot of reports from our sources who are telling us that they believe some civilian targets have been struck. Taliban officials are claiming that a bus with about 17 or 18 civilians on board was struck.

Also, CNN sources are saying that they have noted a heavier strike on what they call populated areas, and they say they've been to at least one destroyed house where they say they've seen civilian casualties. They note that they have not been taken to military targets and that some police buildings are being targeted. But they say they have recorded what they call heavy casualties.

Here in Pakistan, there has been a ratcheting up of tensions between Pakistan and India, a war of words, and indeed some shooting across the border between the two. And the Pakistan president's spokesman said that Pakistan is putting its armed forces on higher alert because Pakistan says it has detected unusual military movements from Indian military troops, and they say some air force assets may be threatening.

India denies and rejects these claims and says it has made no unsual troop movement.

CNN: There are reports reaching us through very conventional channels that the Afghan foreign minister [Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil] has dropped out of sight and may have made some kind of trip into Pakistan. Have they talked about that there?

AMANPOUR: Well, this speculation has been going on over the last couple of days, and the latest we have is that he has told CNN sources in Kandahar, where he has apparently been sighted both Wednesday and two days ago, that there was no truth to rumors of any movement away from Kandahar for him, that there was no truth to any split in the Taliban. He insisted to CNN sources that the Taliban remains united. We haven't been able to confirm that ourselves, except to rely on our sources that we've been relying on for the last several weeks.


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