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Airstrikes resume Wednesday in Afghanistan

Al Qaeda spokesman vows more hijackings in America

These photos show what the Pentagon says is al Qaeda's Garmabak Ghar terrorist training camp before, top, and after Monday's airstrikes.  


(CNN) -- Hours after a broadcast message from an al Qaeda spokesman promised more terrorist attacks on the United States, U.S.-led forces conducted new daylight airstrikes Wednesday in Afghanistan.

The daylight strikes hit near Kandahar in south-central Afghanistan, the country's second largest city. Witnesses reported explosions around the city.

Earlier, the Qatar-based television network al Jazeera broadcast a statement from al Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu-Gheith, who praised the hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks and said there were thousands of young Muslims willing to die while carrying out more attacks on the United States.

Abou-Gheith did not explicitly say al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks, but investigators have said at least three hijackers had ties to al Qaeda, the network headed by suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said the statement did nothing but "strengthen the resolve of the civilized world."

"These are evil criminals and, by their words, we shall judge them. I think they are now speaking the truth, and we know who's doing these evil atrocities, and we know where to get them," he told CNN.

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Latest developments

• Pentagon sources said Tuesday more than 1,000 U.S. troops, including special operations forces, are at the Khanabad military base near Karshi, Uzbekistan, roughly 100 miles north of Afghanistan.

• President Bush told top advisers Tuesday he was prepared to expand the list of lawmakers allowed to have classified briefings on the military operation in Afghanistan and the investigation of the September 11 attacks, but that he first wanted to discuss the issue face-to-face with congressional leaders at a Wednesday morning meeting. (Full story)

• Top U.S. military officials said Tuesday initial strikes against targets in Afghanistan were 85 percent successful and that U.S. forces had gained "air supremacy" over Afghanistan after three days. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the U.S.-led airstrikes were so successful that the coalition could conduct strikes "more or less around the clock as we wish." (Full story)

• During a Tuesday briefing at the Pentagon, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, displayed satellite photos he said showed the destruction of an al Qaeda terrorist training camp.

• An al Qaeda spokesman Tuesday promised more terrorist attacks against U.S. targets as he praised the men who hijacked the aircraft that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. Suleiman Abu-Gheith stopped short of claiming al Qaeda was responsible for the September 11 attacks during his speech broadcast by the Qatar-based television network al Jazeera. But he urged all Muslims to attack American targets until the United States leaves all Muslim countries and stops supporting Israel.

• President Bush sent formal notification to Congress Tuesday of his decision to deploy U.S. forces for combat operations in Afghanistan. (Full story)

• NATO dispatched the first of five AWACS surveillance planes Tuesday to patrol U.S. skies -- the first time assets from other NATO members have been used to help protect the continental United States. The United States requested the aircraft so its own AWACS planes could be used in the fight against terrorism. (Full story)

• The FBI is asking architects and building engineers across the United States to report suspicious requests for building plans, especially for federal buildings and projects, two industry groups said Tuesday. (Full story)

• The Pentagon acknowledged Tuesday it was entirely possible four Afghan men, security workers for a U.N.-affiliated mine-clearing operation, were killed by an errant U.S. cruise missile. Pentagon sources said the United States sent four cruise missiles against communications towers in the area near Kabul, and three hit their intended targets. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the news of the deaths a "hard blow." (Full story)

• CNN sources said bombs also hit a populated area of Kabul near a military hospital, which has been used to treat civilians as well. The sources said the number of casualties in that attack was not yet known, and the hospital was not damaged.

• Afghanistan's opposition Northern Alliance on Tuesday claimed it had cut off the Taliban's main north-south supply route, putting the Taliban's northern forces in jeopardy. The alliance said it took control of the route in northeast Afghanistan on Monday night when 40 Taliban commanders and 1,200 mujahedeen fighters defected. (Full story)

• A Taliban official said Tuesday suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and supreme Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar were alive and still in Afghanistan and that Monday's airstrikes had not resulted in any Taliban casualties. The Pentagon confirmed that Omar's house near Kandahar was a target, but Taliban officials said he had left shortly before the attack. (Full story)

• Investigators are looking at whether a letter that came into the mailroom of a Florida tabloid publishing company could be the source of anthrax bacteria that killed an employee, a law enforcement source confirmed to CNN. Doctors in Virginia, meanwhile, said initial tests were negative for a man who was thought to have been exposed to anthrax. (Full story)

• In Pakistan, three Muslim clerics were placed under house arrest for three months to prevent more anti-American demonstrations during the air campaign. But protests continued Tuesday, including one in which three people were killed. (Full story)

• In Jakarta, Indonesian police fired warning shots and tear gas Tuesday to break up a crowd of Muslim demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy protesting the airstrikes.

• Amnesty International called on the United States, its allies and the Taliban to respect human rights in the wake of the airstrikes. (Full story)

• NATO dispatched the first of five AWACS surveillance planes Tuesday to patrol U.S. skies -- the first time assets from other NATO members have been used to help protect the continental United States. The United States requested the aircraft so its own AWACS planes could be used in the fight against terrorism. (Full story)

• President Bush told top advisers Tuesday he was prepared to expand the list of lawmakers allowed to have classified briefings on the military operation in Afghanistan and the investigation of the September 11 attacks, but that he first wanted to discuss the issue face-to-face with congressional leaders at a Wednesday morning meeting. (Full story)

• Afghanistan's opposition Northern Alliance on Tuesday claimed it had cut off the Taliban's main north-south supply route, putting the Taliban's northern forces in jeopardy. The Alliance said it took control of the route in northeast Afghanistan on Monday night, when 40 Taliban commanders and 1,200 mujahedeen fighters defected. (Full story)

• CNN sources said bombs also hit a populated area of Kabul near a military hospital, which has been used to treat civilians as well. The sources said the number of casualties in that attack was not yet known, and the hospital was not damaged.

• A Taliban official said Tuesday that suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and supreme Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar were alive and still in Afghanistan, and that the latest U.S. military strikes had not resulted in any Taliban casualties. The Pentagon confirmed that Omar's house near Kandahar was a target, but Taliban officials said he had left shortly before the attack. (Full story)

• Investigators are looking at whether a letter that came into the mailroom of a Florida tabloid publishing company could be the source of anthrax bacteria that killed an employee, a law enforcement source confirmed to CNN. Doctors in Virginia, meanwhile, said initial tests were negative for a man who was thought to have been exposed to anthrax. (Full story)

• The U.S. military planned to continue food drops in Afghanistan on Tuesday, with a second load of 37,000 ready-to-eat meals. But the international aid agency Doctors Without Borders criticized the aid drops as "a piece of military propaganda aimed at making the U.S.-led attack more acceptable to international opinion." (Full story)

• In Pakistan, three Muslim clerics were placed under house arrest for three months to prevent more anti-American demonstrations during the Afghan bombing campaign. But protests continued on Tuesday, including one in which three people were killed. (Full story)

• In Jakarta, Indonesian police fired warning shots and tear gas Tuesday to break up a crowd of Muslim demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy protesting U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan.

• The United States and Great Britain notified the U.N. Security Council Monday as to why it undertook military strikes against Afghanistan, and reserved the right to strike against other countries as part of the war against terrorism, administrators and British officials told CNN.

• The Federal Aviation Administration is limiting all airline passengers to one carry-on bag and one personal article such as a purse or briefcase, an FAA official told CNN. Experts said the move would give screeners more time to examine bags and passengers closely. (Full story)

• Amnesty International called on the United States, its allies and the Taliban to respect human rights in the wake of the airstrikes. (Full story)



 
 
 
 



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