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October 8, 2001
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First wave of strikes successful: Rumsfeld

United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, addressing a joint press conference with US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Robert Myers on Monday, said the first wave of strikes against targets in Afghanistan were 'successful'.

General Myers revealed 31 military targets, including air bases, ammunition dumps and radar installations, were hit by US bombs and missiles.

Rumsfeld also said 'some progress' has been made in destruction of air defence mechanisms in Afghanistan, according to preliminary evaluations.

However, he said it is too early to accurately estimate the damage inflicted.

Replying to a question on the Taleban claims of civilian casualties, Rumsfeld said, every target attacked was a military target, and described Taleban claims as incorrect.

He also clarified that there were no direct attacks on Kabul, as the missiles and bombs were targeted at military installations around Kabul.

He added the campaign against international terrorism is likely to be sustained for a period of years.

He said the war against global terrorism is not against one individual, referring to Osama bin Laden, but to whole plethora of terrorist networks and countries that support and harbour them.

After Rumsfeld spoke, Myers said, "Strikes are continuing as we speak."

Myers added that humanitarian food aid drops were continuing in many Afghan areas.

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