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Retaliation: U.S., Britain open attack

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The United States and Great Britain launched attacks on at least three cities in Afghanistan on Sunday in retaliation for the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, U.S. President Bush said.

Northern Alliance commanders in Afghanistan said they were hearing of as many as seven targeted areas in the country, some as far-flung as Herat Aria in the northwest and Maraz-e Sharif in the north.

The first strikes occurred about 8:45 p.m. Sunday (12:45 p.m. EDT). A source in Kandahar told CNN a second and heavier wave of strikes hit that city about an hour later.

The raids were expected to last well into the early morning hours in Afghanistan. Pentagon officials told CNN the attacks would include strikes by U.S.-based B-2 bombers and B-52 and B-1 bombers flying from the British base at Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean.


President Bush, in a televised address to the nation on Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT, said the strikes follow the Taliban's refusal to meet U.S. demands to turn over suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, whom U.S. officials blame for the September 11 attacks.

"More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: Close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the Al Qaeda network and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens unjustly detained in our country," Bush said. "None of these demands were met. And now, the Taliban will pay a price." (Full story)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that Britain was participating in the strikes in a televised address from London. "This is a moment of the utmost gravity in the world," he said.

"Our determination in acting is total. We will not let up or rest until our objectives are met in full," Blair said. (Full story)


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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Will the resources in place to deal with the humanitarian crisis of the Afghan refugees be enough? Click here for more

What countries have joined the U.S. anti-terror coalition? Click here for more

How will retaliation affect Americans at home and abroad? Click here for more

Is NATO playing a role? Click here for more

Will this crisis lead to a new role in U.S.-Russia relations? Click here for more


George W. Bush: U.S. president

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. Click here for more.

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more. Click here for more.

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. Click here for more.

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Click here for more.

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. Click here for more.

George Tenet: CIA director. Click here for more.

Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden: Director of the U.S. National Security Agency, responsible for gathering intelligence on terrorist cells.

Gen. Pervez Musharraf: The military ruler of Pakistan. Click here for more.

Saudi exile Osama bin Laden is considered a prime suspect in the September 11 attacks.  

Mullah Mohammed Omar: The Muslim cleric who leads Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. Taliban officials say they have played host to bin Laden but do not allow him to engage in terrorist activities. Click here for more.

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups, that oppose the Taliban. The group controls about five percent of northern Afghanistan.


The attacks on the nation's landmarks of power and security signal the start of a protracted battle on terrorism that could permanently alter core U.S. military and diplomatic strategies.


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