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Amanpour: Multiple targets hit in Afghanistan

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Christiane Amanpour  


(CNN) -- Christiane Amanpour is CNN's chief international correspondent. She is currently in Islamabad, Pakistan, and spoke to CNN's Aaron Brown shortly after the attack in Afghanistan was confirmed.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Well, first of all, reaction from inside Afghanistan: Again, our sources reached there by phone say there is another wave of attacks underway on Kandahar, and they're speculating that it may be around Mullah Mohammed Omar's house, who is the supreme leader of the Taliban. So that's just what we've heard from Kandahar in the last few moments -- another round of attacks on Kandahar.

Earlier we had heard from both Kandahar and close to Jalalabad, talking about attacks within the last hour or so. In Kandahar, (sources) reached by telephone or by radio at the airport there, saying that the command center had been hit. The radar station had been hit. Also, in Jalalabad, our sources there saying that they believed a target south of the city had been hit. That may have been the airport. But a subsequent call to Jalalabad suggests that it may have been an al Qaeda base, according to a highly placed military source inside Afghanistan. It may have been an al Qaeda base around Jalalabad that had been hit.

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On the humanitarian issue: We are hearing again from Kandahar. The people have been fleeing in the wake of these attacks, trying to flee out of the city. Of course in the last few days, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader had been urging people to come back, saying the United States was not going to attack.

Over the last few weeks, many Afghans, thousands of Afghans, had left cities, gone either to the countryside or come to the borders with Pakistan. That's the latest we're hearing from inside Afghanistan.

As for here in Pakistan, we understand that the airspace is still open, indicating that there are no over flights -- military over flights -- in Pakistan. That, as I say, is speculation. All I can tell you is that the air space is open.

One other note of vast importance, given the public reaction here, is (British) Prime Minister Tony Blair was very, very clear about the humanitarian dimension of this -- going out of his way to say, "we are doing all that we humanly can to avoid casualties." And that a big concern in this region is -- anytime we talk to anybody here -- people insist that if there is to be a retaliation against the terrorists and their camps, that there must not be attacks on Afghan civilians.

Public reaction here suggesting that if there are widespread attacks or civilian casualties, then it will vastly impact public opinion in this region. We understand from military analysts that any attacks would avoid civilian infrastructure -- the roads, bridges and other things -- that we've seen hit in other military actions, for instance Kosovo, the Gulf War and other such things.






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