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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: Ground View from Afghanistan; Huge Anti- U.S. Protests Going on in Indonesia

Aired October 19, 2001 - 05:25   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.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: From time to time, we're able to check in with a correspondent we've been working with Al Jazeera TV, Youssef Al-Shouli, and he joins us now live by phone. Once again, he's live in Kandahar. And we have this moment to find out what is happening there on the ground -- Youssef, can you tell us about the damage in Kandahar and describe the conditions to us.

YOUSSEF AL-SHOULI, AL JAZEERA CORRESPONDENT: Actually right now we are passing through quite a calm (UNINTELLIGIBLE) yesterday (UNINTELLIGIBLE) there was one bomb that fell 10 centimeters out of our office. The bombs and rockets were blasting here last night starting from seven o'clock until 12 in Kandahar's time and rocketing from four o'clock up till seven or eight o'clock in the morning.

It was very severe shelling targeting all areas (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

PHILLIPS: And Youssef, we're going to let that car pass there for a moment. Now we have a little better connection with you. The U.S. ground troops and the British forces there on the ground, have you seen evidence of this and what have you heard with regard to possible action by these special forces?

Al-SHOULI: Well, actually, we have no evidence of the troops. But we heard from people saying that some forces landed in Afghanistan south of the city. And we heard last night, yesterday, before 5:30, we have heard that helicopters moving in the sky overhead. Some people here in the city told us that these helicopters might be carrying some special forces, American special forces had actually landed in southern Afghanistan. But actually we have no idea, no evidence, and nobody saw any of these forces on the ground.

PHILLIPS: Youssef Al-Shouli live via video phone there in Kandahar, thank you very much -- Leon.

HARRIS: All right, and we apologize if you weren't able to understand that. You have to understand that we go to great lengths to give you any information we can from inside Afghanistan. We'll try to get that, get some more information from him later on and rehash it and bring it to you later on.

Now, let's go back to the story we talked about before the break, Indonesia. Huge anti-U.S. protests going on there.

Atika Shubert checks in now on the phone with the latest from there -- Atika.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Leon, these are certainly the largest protests that we've seen so far, protests against the U.S. military strikes in Afghanistan. Thousands of people took to the streets in Jakarta, marched down the main thoroughfare of the business district and are now collected in a major rotary here.

Actually, many of the protesters are now starting to go home after a peaceful protest. What you're hearing are some of the songs that they're singing as they're departing. Just, they're just finishing now with (AUDIO GAP) as well.

Now, most of the people here are carrying banners saying "America is the real terrorist," that America was killing civilians in Afghanistan. So this is very clearly putting pressure on Indonesian President Megawati to take a stand against the U.S. military strikes in Afghanistan. So we'll have to see what kind of a position she takes during the APEC summit in Shanghai.

HARRIS: Atika, any hint whether or not there will be any pro- U.S. or pro-coalition demonstrations there?

SHUBERT: There have not been any pro-U.S. demonstrations here, but it is important to point out that the demonstrations so far here have been quite small. This is the largest so far, in the thousands. But that's still really just a drop considering the 200 million people that live in Indonesia. Ninety percent of them are Muslim (AUDIO GAP) Muslim society here.

Many have not advocated any sort of extreme anti-American action. However (AUDIO GAP) not advocate military strikes. They do not advocate going after Afghanistan in order to get Osama bin Laden. They want to see some other form of justice done -- Leon.

HARRIS: Atika Shubert checking in for us live on the phone from Jakarta, Indonesia. Thank you very much -- Kyra, over to you.

PHILLIPS: We're going to talk now about the developments, Leon, in the Middle East threatening to undo this U.S.-Arab alliances.

Israeli tanks rumbled into Bethlehem today, setting off new violence.

CNN Jerusalem bureau chief Mike Hanna joins us now live with more on that -- hi, Mike.

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