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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: Taliban Ambassador Claims More Civilian Casualties

Aired October 11, 2001 - 04:59   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.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

ZAEEF (through translator): ...the natural resources of Central Asia rather than Osama. America wants to replace the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with a pro-American government in Kabul. Therefore, America wants to snatch from the Mujahideen -- the Muslim people of Afghanistan the right to have a government based on what we believe in.

Aggression has been launched against our sovereignty and independence and a global dictatorship is being unleashed by American under the cover of defending democracy. It is only following its politically-motivated goals.

The fact is that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan rendered imminent services both to people of Afghanistan and the international community. In Afghanistan, there was no security. People's honor, property and life was not safe. We give them security and protected their lives and honor. The world was suffering from illicit drugs. We rooted out poppy cultivation in Afghanistan completely. We did this service without asking anyone for remuneration, but these reports seem to be not acceptable to American (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

America is now bent in bringing to Kabul the same forces which destroyed the Kabul city and killed more than 6,000 Kabul citizens. By doing so, America is still thirsty for more bloodshed in Kabul city.

As we said in the past days, if American realize more than 30 civilians have been murdered in different parts of our country. The number is increasing with the passage of time. This is the gift of America to the defenseless people of Afghanistan.

It is in a time that Pentagon is lying to the world that it is not targeting civilians. We tell White House administration your atrocities, your weapons and your hypocrisy will not weaken the morale of the Afghans. All of the support of our powers have tested our strong determination and the sentiments for -- and our sentiments for sacrifice, independence and faith. This time you will test.

All power is in the hand of Allah. We are sure he is with us.

Please be brief asking while questions, because it is raining. QUESTION: They say that 400 Americans are in Afghanistan. Is this true or not true?

ZAEEF (through translator): No.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ZAEEF (through translator): Not immediate relatives, but people of Afghanistan have been murdered who are in generally all relatives of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) know that the mosque in Jalalabad was bombed by Americans? And how many people were bombed in this mosque?

ZAEEF (through translator): In this mosque, which was demolished by American (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 15 people have been reported to have been murdered and also four houses destroyed. It is located in the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) area (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the Afghans.

QUESTION: Other countries have now offered their commitment to join America in sending combat troops against Afghanistan, including Australia, which is promising to send special forces commanders to assist the Americans. Does the Jihad extend to those countries? And what messages do you send to the leaders of such countries, such as the prime minister of Australia who are promising now to commit combat troops to assist the Americans?

ZAEEF (through translator): I think it will be a shame for all these countries -- that they are all aligning against a weak and a destroyed Afghanistan -- to destroy it furthermore. I think only America is in it for that.

QUESTION: Does the war extend to those countries who are promising now -- the smaller countries who are promising to commit troops? Does the Jihad extend to them?

ZAEEF (through translator): Anyone who enters Afghanistan, we will be fighting against them, because -- but the first -- our first enemy is American.

QUESTION: Will you extend the war beyond your boundaries? Or will you keep the war within Afghanistan itself?

ZAEEF (through translator): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) fighting in our country any aggressor who enters our country.

QUESTION: Yesterday, you said that you would check with the authorities to see whether the Taliban has lifted the restrictions on Mr. bin Laden. Can you give us any information on that?

ZAEEF (through translator): There was, as you know, restriction on him, on his speech and everything. Now, only a partial restriction is lifted that on his speech. But there is still restriction on him to use the side of Afghanistan against any country. This is not allowed here -- there is a ban on him.

I think that the last question, because it is raining -- one more.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: The French (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

QUESTION: The U.S. said that it used anti-bunker missiles. What is the effect?

ZAEEF (through translator): He is, of course, the French journalist now under detention, and there is investigation about him. So this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) so far we haven't.

And about your question, I don't know. I don't know about your question. There is no information about this.

QUESTION: About Mohammed Mullah Omar (UNINTELLIGIBLE) have said that he was (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ZAEEF (through translator): He is alive.

QUESTION: He is alive right now?

ZAEEF (through translator): Yes, yes.

QUESTION: Sir, U.S. troops are heading toward Afghanistan. They say they have deployed ground troops. What is your comment about this?

ZAEEF (through translator): When the American enters Afghanistan, there will start the real war, not now.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Mohammed Mullah Omar did, he says that those who have joined the Northern Alliance will be forgiven if they come back. Does that mean that there have been Taliban defections?

ZAEEF (through translator): No one has -- no one has -- no one now has defected.

There is a press report that the Americans attacked (UNINTELLIGIBLE) area in Jalalabad (UNINTELLIGIBLE) province, and they hit a village of the people -- a 100 people are reported to have murdered in this -- civilians in this attack.

LIN: What was once a rare event -- a news conference by the Taliban has now become a daily occurrence.

There you heard from the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan claiming that there have been dozens of civilians killed in the latest round of airstrikes by the U.S.-led forces -- the most intense night so far in this week-long campaign -- more than a dozen civilians in three different cities -- Kabul, Kandahar and outside of Jalalabad. Fresh reports in claiming also that several houses have been destroyed.

They are saying that the real war will begin when American troops actually set foot inside of Afghanistan when this air campaign is over. They seem to be expecting ground troops and they are saying that America is thirsty for more bloodshed.

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