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Northern Alliance claims major gains as strikes continue

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The Northern Alliance claimed it had made significant gains against the Taliban, as U.S.-led airstrikes continued over Afghanistan's largest cities. The Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan claimed the strikes had cost scores of civilian lives, saying the U.S. was "lying to the world" when it says it's not "targeting civilians."


Round-the-clock U.S. airstrikes continued in Afghanistan Thursday, with new evening raids on Kabul and Jalalabad. Explosions could be heard and seen in Kabul starting about 7:45 p.m. (11:15 a.m. EDT), a little more than an hour after sources told CNN that a new round of attacks had begun in Jalalabad.

Opposition forces claimed more gains Thursday in their ongoing war to retake Afghanistan from the ruling Taliban regime, including the capture of the capital of north-central Ghowr province, which includes an airport and supply lines used by Taliban troops. (Click here for more.)

The chief of Britain's defense staff said the military campaign in Afghanistan would go from "winter into next summer at the very least." Adm. Sir Michael Boyce said that operations "will continue to such time as we achieve our objectives." (Click here for more.)

Major television stations outside the United States say they will continue to air statements by Osama bin Laden despite White House calls to show caution because they might contain coded messages. (Click here for more.)

The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan has accused the United States of "lying to the world" by denying that it is targeting Afghan civilians in its raids over Afghanistan. (Click here for more.)

CNN has confirmed the first U.S. death in Operation Enduring Freedom -- Air Force Master Sgt. Evander Earl Andrews, from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, who was killed in an accident on the northern Arabian Peninsula.

  •  Summary

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  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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When will the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban group that controls up to 10 percent of Afghanistan, begin a ground offensive to take the capital of Kabul? (Click here for more)

What role will NATO play in the U.S.-led coalition against terrorism? (Click here for more)

What is the White House doing to prevent al Qaeda from airing what it calls "propaganda" on U.S. media outlets? (Click here for more)

How have five days of bomb and missile strikes affected the Taliban's ability to threaten U.S. aircraft? (Click here for more)

Following the U.S. and British airstrikes, what is the next phase of the operation? Will U.S. ground troops going to be deployed in Afghanistan? (Click here for more)

Who are the key players in the confused political landscape of Afghanistan, and how could U.S. military intervention affect the balance of power there? (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.)

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

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

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.)

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.)

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

George Robertson: Secretary-General of NATO (and former British defense minister) (Click here for more.)


The military attacks that began October 7 mark the start of what the Bush administration says will be a lengthy struggle against terrorist organizations worldwide -- one that could take years.


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