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Blair: Afghan attacks successful

Blair told the House of Coomons that a second wave of attacks had begun
Blair told the House of Coomons that a second wave of attacks had begun  


LONDON, England -- UK Prime Minister Tony Blair recalled Members of Parliament to reaffirm the UK's support for attacks on the Taliban.

Blair also confirmed that a second wave of assaults had begun -- although British forces were not believed to be participating.

Blair, who was addressing an emergency sesssion of parliament in London, said that the coalition's operations were successful in destroying elements of the al Qaeda group facilities and of the ruling Taliban.

He said in the evening debate: "We can say that initial indications are that the coalition operations were successful in achieving their objective of destroying and degrading elements of the al Qaeda terrorist facilities and the Taliban military apparatus that protects them.

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"I can tell the House that a second wave of attacks is now under way," he said.

Blair pledged that British forces, which were in action on Sunday night, "will be there again."

But he assured British lawmakers of the alliance's commitment to the Afghan people.

"We will not walk away from them once the conflict ends, as has happened in the past," the prime minister pledged.

"We will stand by them and help them to a better, more stable future under a broad-based government involving all the different ethnic groupings."

The House of Commons, which is in summer recess, was meeting for the third time since the September terror attacks on New York and Washington.

Britain has stood "shoulder to shoulder" with the U.S. since the September 11 attacks.

Blair led Britain's diplomatic effort in the run-up to the strikes on Afghanistan in an attempt to shore up the international anti-terror coalition.

He has been outspoken in his criticism and blame of Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the terror attacks, and Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, which has allowed him to stay in the country.

British missile-firing submarines joined in the attack alongside U.S. forces on Sunday.

The UK leader has said British warplanes will attack Afghan targets in the next few days while other British forces are ready to join the operation.

The British military base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean has been put at the disposal of U.S. forces and Britain will provide logistical support in addition to combat forces.

Security has been tightened in Britain against any feared terror attacks. Specialist police surveillance vehicles have been deployed at a series of key sites in London and the south-east of England.

Teams using hidden video equipment have been stationed at locations including Heathrow Airport, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.



 
 
 
 


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