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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: Many Anti-U.S. Demonstrations in Pakistan

Aired October 8, 2001 - 06:12   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take you now to Pakistan and speak with CNN's Tom Mintier who's in Islamabad for the very latest from there.

Tom, a number of anti-U.S. demonstrations going on.

TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Most definitely some anti-U.S. demonstrations in many of the major cities here.

We watched the Taliban press conference by the ambassador, and the ambassador has told CNN after that press conference that the Taliban has allegedly shot down a helicopter. They say 14 were on board. Now you have to put this into perspective because they're also saying that they have downed four other military aircraft during the overnight strikes. So the Taliban ambassador telling CNN that a U.S. helicopter is down inside Afghanistan, 14 on board. No way to yet confirm that through the Pentagon, but that is what the Taliban is saying.

Now we've got a couple of full screens that I'd like to show where the hits were last night in relation to where I am. There are major, major cities in Afghanistan that were hit. The two most southern Kandahar and Jalalabad are along the border with Pakistan so it didn't take very long for the word to spread through that there had indeed been a strike. Now once that happened, within hours there were a few hundred people on the streets in the middle of the night, but now that daylight has arrived, the crowds are growing much larger. Even here in Islamabad a large demonstration being held today following the president's speech. It started out with 200, then 400, then 600, then it was up to 1,200 or then 2,000, so it continued to grow throughout the morning hours into a very, very large, noisy, very loud demonstration.

As I was saying before, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan held a press conference a short time ago. And in that press conference he basically accused the United States of being the terrorists in this, saying that they were the ones that had the aggression against Afghanistan and they were the ones that took the action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABDUL SALAM ZAEEF (through translator): If the Americans are on the assumption that by shedding the blood of the poor Afghans life will be made very easy here for them and they will take advantage out of this, I think they have a wrong assumption in this respect. To the best of my knowledge, the consequences are very severe and the consequences are so severe that no one could determine it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MINTIER: Also here in Islamabad this morning we heard from the Pakistani president, President Musharraf, saying that there were three areas really that he wanted to talk about the attacks. He knew several hours before they were launched. He got a call from the U.S. president talking about the time of the attack and the targeting of the attacks.

And he also said the need for political stability in Afghanistan after this is over. He said it must not have a vacuum or a void, it must come very quickly.

He also issued a warning -- two, actually. One to the Northern Alliance not to take advantage of the situation of the U.S. attacking Afghanistan and moving forward with their plans to take political control of the country. And the other was to India saying that don't be misled, that we are prepared, and if attacked, we will fully defend ourselves. An apparent reversal comment from India's foreign minister that really has Pakistan standing on edge.

But as of right now, we're waiting to see what the street demonstrations are. There are demonstrations in Pashawar and Quetta as well and several columns of smoke could be seen coming up from the downtown central business district so there are a lot of people in the streets in Pakistan.

CALLAWAY: All right. Tom Mintier reporting to us live from Islamabad, Pakistan.

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