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Heavy bombing in Kandahar; CNN office hit

Embassy bombers sentenced to life, no parole

Kabul
Afghans surround a destroyed building on Thursday in Kabul.  


KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Heavy bombing was reported Thursday night in Kandahar, and the CNN workplace was among the locations damaged during U.S. attacks in Afghanistan.

At least seven people were reported killed Thursday in Kabul, as Taliban and al Qaeda military targets in and near the capital city came under intense attack on the 12th day of airstrikes, sources told CNN.

The people in the workplace -- including employees of CNN and the Arabic-language TV network Al Jazeera -- had taken cover outside because of the heavy bombing and were not injured, but the building sustained major damage. (Full story)

There were no details on the deaths in Kabul, but Al Jazeera reported that a dwelling had been hit and that bodies were seen being removed from the rubble. The media outlet said it was unclear whether the dead were civilians or military personnel.

The ruling Taliban claimed 20 people were killed in the Kandahar attack. A report from Al Jazeera showed men digging furiously through the rubble of a bombed-out building, and body parts were visible. The number of deaths could not be independently confirmed.

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CNN's Christiane Amanpour talks to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about the military campaign against Afghanistan (October 18)

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CNN's Matthew Chance reports of numerous defections from the Taliban army coming to the side of the Northern Alliance (October 18)

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CNN Exclusive: Nic Robertson reports from Jalalabad under escort from the Taliban

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Bombing was also reported in the eastern city of Jalalabad, where a TV station and terrorist training camps were believed to be among the targets.

Latest developments

• Meanwhile, as the United States pressed its military campaign against terrorist targets tied to Osama bin Laden, four men convicted of carrying out bin Laden's 1998 edict to kill Americans were sentenced Thursday. At a New York courthouse just blocks from the ruins of the World Trade Center, the four -- Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, Mohamed al-'Owhali, Mohamed Sadeek Odeh, and Wadih el Hage -- were each sentenced to life in prison without parole for their roles in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. (Full story)

• U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday that increased American propaganda efforts, including broadcasts and the dropping of leaflets over Afghanistan, are aimed at encouraging Taliban forces to surrender or to defect to opposing forces. (Full story)

• Rumsfeld would neither confirm nor deny that the Pentagon is using armed, but unmanned, drones known as the RQ-1A Predator for the first time in the air campaign. There have been reports that the medium-altitude aircraft has joined the airstrikes.

• U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday toured Ground Zero in New York and later declared that the United States is engaged in a "struggle against evil." (Full story)

•In a sign of U.S. support for Afghanistan's opposition Northern Alliance, U.S. President George Bush called for "friendly" forces on the ground to move ahead against the Taliban. Bush said U.S. airstrikes were "paving the way for friendly troops to defeat the Taliban and root out the al Qaeda parasites that the Taliban hosts and protects." Bush made the comments Wednesday, on his way to China for an economic summit. (Full story)

• Afghans from the eastern province of Nagrahar tell CNN that the Taliban exaggerated reports of civilian casualties in a bombed-out village they displayed to a group of international journalists Sunday. (Full story)

• In Pakistan, a meeting of exiled Afghan mujahedeen commanders, tribal elders and religious leaders ended Thursday with a resolution condemning terrorism and blaming the Taliban for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. But the group also came down firmly against the introduction of international ground troops in Afghanistan. (Full story)

• Authorities on Thursday said six people have tested positive for anthrax infection, and offered up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people involved in mailing the bacteria. (Full story)

• Pentagon radio broadcasts into Afghanistan include instructions to Taliban troops for surrendering to U.S. forces. (Full story)

• The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, International Airport was shut down briefly late Wednesday after federal officials received a threat against nearby Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. (Full story)

A man wipes his face at the scene of what sources told CNN was an intense attack on Kabul on Thursday.  

• Japan's Lower House has passed an anti-terrorism bill that allows its troops to give logistical support to the United States and its allies in overseas military operations. (Full story)

• New York City officials gave the following numbers for dead and missing from the September 11 attacks, as of Thursday: Number of bodies recovered: 458; number of bodies identified: 408; number of people missing, according to the police department: 4,515; total victims (bodies identified plus missing): 4,923; number of missing persons reported to the family center: 4,450; number of death certificate applications: 1,665.



 
 
 
 



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