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October 8, 2001
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Taleban warns US of 'severe consequences' for military strikes

Afghanistan's ruling Taleban on Monday warned the United States of 'severe consequences' for the military strikes in Afghanistan and claimed that at least one American aircraft was shot down during Sunday night's attacks, which left about 30 Afghan civilians including women, children and elderly dead.

''To the best of my knowledge the consequences are going to be very severe. So severe that no one can determine it,'' Taleban ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef told reporters in Islamabad.

He also said Saudi exile Osama bin Laden was safe inside Afghanistan though there had been no direct contact with the terrorist mastermind, prime suspect in the September 11 terror attacks in the US.

"Yes he is alive. He is safe inside Afghanistan,'' Zaeef said.

Contesting US claims that the strikes were only on terrorist camps and military installations, Zaeef said the rockets had hit dwelling places in Kabul killing almost 30 people in the city.

"There was no differentiation on the civilian part and the military part," he said.

Claiming that Taleban had shot down one intruding aircraft, he said there were also rumours that three more fighters were brought down.

However, a US defence department spokesman on Monday denied that any US aircraft were shot down during the attacks.

The Taleban ambassador said, "The US action is not only against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, it is a terrorist attack against the entire Muslim world."

''This is not something new. Earlier, the former Soviet Union also tried to attack Afghanistan. However, fortunately it was unsuccessful in the exam," Zaeef said.

''If the Americans are assuming that by shedding blood of Afghans, life will be easy for them, I think their assumption is wrong,'' he said.

RELATED REPORTS:
Taleban chief declares jihad against US
Taleban condemns attacks as 'terrorist act'
The US can expect more attacks: Osama

The Attack on America: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest stories from round the world

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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