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U.S. bombers renew Kandahar attacks



By CNN's Chris Burns in Ghani Khail
and Kamal Hyder in Kandahar

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Allied bombers resumed military strikes in the southern Taliban stronghold of Kandahar Sunday after a lull of nearly two days.

The bombers, distinguished by their loud engines, began circling over Kandahar around 11 a.m.

CNN Correspondent Kamal Hyder reported hearing several loud explosions to the west of the city, shaking the walls and rattling the windows.

City residents, somewhat accustomed to wartime conditions, were seen in the streets going about their daily routines Sunday, going shopping and heading to work.

Further north, in a village controlled by the opposition Northern Alliance, a stray U.S. bomb left one woman dead and one of her children injured, the woman's cousin told CNN Sunday.

VIDEO
CNN's Satinder Bindra reports on the stalemate near the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance (October 27)

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(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

CNN's Chris Burns interviews taxi drivers and other ordinary Afghans about life under drought, poverty and war (October 27)

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The incident occurred in the village of Ghani Khail 2 km (1.2 miles) from the front line, where U.S. forces have been striking Taliban entrenchments north of Kabul.

The cousin said Cocogol Khan, 25, was at home with her two children sewing clothes for a wedding party when the bomb fell.

Her 4-year-old son was wounded but her 2-year-old daughter escaped injury, the cousin said.

Seventeen others were injured, taken to two hospitals, the cousin said.

At Khan's funeral, the imam condemned the United States for the stray bomb but also blamed "a stupid man called Osama bin Laden" for causing the deaths of innocent Afghans in the U.S.-led military campaign.

Another man at the funeral said the stray bomb was clearly a mistake and that the airstrikes should continue.

Scattered gunfire and a jet was heard in the mountains nearby Sunday.

Kandahar, located in the southern portion of Afghanistan, is the home of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Muslim cleric who leads Afghanistan's ruling Taliban.

On Saturday, Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, again emphasized his desire that the military campaign in Afghanistan should be brief.

"I still maintain that it ought to be short because any prolonging of the operation is not in the interests of anybody, not even the United States," Musharraf said at a news conference. "One can only hope and wish that the military objectives are achieved, and it remains as short as possible."

Meanwhile, Pakistani officials told CNN the Taliban have voiced their skepticism about the effectiveness of a possible U.S.-led ground war.

The officials said the Taliban assume that the United States and Britain will not commit large enough numbers of ground troops to defeat the Taliban. The Taliban also believe the United States will seek the support of Afghans in Taliban-controlled areas to fight against the Afghan regime, the officials said

Some Pakistani government officials said they believe the Taliban have a list of suspects who might position themselves as emerging opposition figures. These Pakistani officials said that the people on this list are in danger.

The Taliban said Saturday they executed five Northern Alliance leaders. They did not provide any details.

That report comes a day after the Taliban executed the former mujahedeen commander Abdul Haq and two others in Kabul on charges of spying, independent sources told CNN. Haq, a commander in the Afghan-Soviet war in the 1980s, crossed into Afghanistan in hopes of creating a coalition to overthrow the Taliban.

CNN sources also reported that some 5,000 armed Pakistani tribesmen were trying to cross the northwest border Saturday into Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban.

The men crossed from the Dir area in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier province, heading toward Kunar, near Jalalabad, Afghanistan. They were carrying weapons and supplies, including blankets and camping gear, the sources said.

Local law enforcement agencies prevented some 800 men in the same area from crossing into Afghanistan, and some were returning home, Pakistan officials said.






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