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Allied Air Strikes Resume on Afghanistan

Aired October 8, 2001 - 11:57   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We're getting word at this time that the air strikes have continued in southern Afghanistan. That's the report we are getting. Specifically, in the town of Kandahar; that's the religious capital we have talked so much about. This is also the location where you saw on CNN earlier today those exclusive daytime video images that we provided through videophone.

Again, it was difficult to say and locate what damage was done or not done as a result of these strikes, but the word we are getting is that once again the air strikes have resumed in the southern part of Afghanistan, in the city of Kandahar.

Nic Robertson is live from Islamabad now.

Nic, what do you have?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill, talking to our sources in Kandahar about ten minutes ago, they said they could hear planes flying overhead, and they are now reporting a lot of anti-aircraft gunfire going up at those planes. They say they are not able to report any explosions like the explosions they heard last night out at the airport and close in to the city. They say when the planes started flying over and the anti-aircraft gunfire started, which they say is firing from many locations in the city, the lights went out, electricity went off in the city.

They describe the situation in Kandahar today as one of very, very tight security since last night and into the daylight hours this morning. They say that people have been leaving the city, taking their families out of the city. They say as far as they know, at the airport, there were very few casualties where the bombs hit at the airport last night, but they say downtown, very close to a compound that is believed to have once belonged to the Taliban's leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, they say a missile down there missed what they believe may have been the intended target, Mullah Omar's house and hit another compound. They say in that compound several people were killed.

But they report a very, very tight security situation; near deserted streets; and right now, just two minutes ago, planes flying overhead and anti-aircraft gunfire firing up at those planes. But as far as they can say at this time, they have not heard a bomb fall so far in their hearing range in Kandahar -- Bill.

HEMMER: Nic, can you qualify the very few casualties you just described. The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan was indicating that 20 civilians were killed, in his words. Do you have any way of confirming that report? Also, just to underline what with you were just saying, only anti-aircraft fire -- no reports of explosions impacting the ground, correct?

ROBERTSON: That is correct. The sources in Kandahar are saying that planes could be heard flying overhead. And I was on the telephone with our source when that happened. Within seconds of that, he said I can hear the anti-aircraft gunfire going offer. Can you hear it too?

To confirm what we are being told from our sources in Kandahar, that only a few people were injured at the airport, some people killed downtown, a small number. The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan earlier did say that some 20 women, children, and old people were killed, but he said that was in a civilian area in the capital, Kabul, some 300 miles to the north of Kandahar. So were talking about two different locations, the ambassador talking about deaths in Kabul, CNN sources in Kandahar talking about a few deaths in Kandahar -- Bill.

HEMMER: OK, Nic, Nic Robertson, Islamabad. Stand by there.

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