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Rodgers: Taliban accuse U.S. of genocide

CNN Senior International Correspondent Walt Rodgers reports from Islamabad.
CNN Senior International Correspondent Walt Rodgers reports from Islamabad.  

(CNN) The United States "is conducting its own war of genocide," according to the Taliban. In a news conference Monday, a spokesman for the ruling group said U.S. assaults have left more than 1,000 Afghan civilians dead. CNN's Walter Rodgers is in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he filed this report.

WALTER RODGERS: As U.S. air strikes resume against Afghanistan, we are now hearing, according the Taliban ... the United States has killed over a thousand civilians. This is not corroborated, but a short while ago, a Taliban spokesman launched a counterattack -- a war of words -- at a news conference in which he said over a thousand Afghans civilians have been killed during the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan.

He also claimed most recently that 100 people were killed in a hospital during a U.S. air strike in the town of Herat in northwestern Afghanistan. The Taliban spokesman, Abdul Salam Zaeef, said "the United States is conducting its own war of genocide, terrorist attacks against Afghanistan merely because," he said, "the Afghan people have embraced Islam."

The Taliban is also claiming that it shot down two U.S. helicopters, and earlier today, it invited a CNN news team in Afghanistan to come and take pictures of the wheels of the helicopter, which the Taliban says it allegedly shot down.

It's one of two the Taliban claims to have downed over the weekend. Where's the rest of the helicopter? We cannot show that to you because, the Taliban said, they only removed the wheels from the crash site because the rest of the alleged downed helicopter is sitting in a minefield.

Again, there is no independent confirmation of this, nor as yet any independent confirmation of the Taliban claims of the strike against the hospital. But what the Taliban is apparently doing -- at least in terms of claiming that the helicopters were shot down -- is trying to boost the morale of its own forces which have suffered mercilessly under a pounding of U.S. bombs for over two weeks now.


• Taliban accuse U.S. of 'genocide'
October 22, 2001

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