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October 9, 2001
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43 killed, 100 injured in US-led strikes: Taleban

Muhammad Najeeb in Islamabad

At least 43 people have been killed and over 100 injured in Afghanistan in two days of air strikes by the United States and its allies, a Taleban official said on Tuesday.

Omer Amir, an official at the Taleban's mission in Islamabad, said at least 25 persons have been killed and 52 injured in Kabul while nine died and 33 were injured in Herat. He said seven people were killed and at least 16 injured in Kandahar.

Amir described as false reports that Taleban supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar's residence was destroyed in the attacks that began on Sunday.

Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the terror attacks in US cities, and all top Taleban leaders were safe, he said.

Amir, who deals with the information section at the embassy, also warned that in a couple of days the US would attack some other Muslim countries.

He claimed that US forces were attacking civilians in Afghanistan and none of their missiles had hit the 'so-called targets'.

He said two children were killed in Kandahar on Monday night while returning home after picking up a 'food packets' dropped by US planes.

However, he admitted that two missiles landed at Kabul airport causing considerable damage. He could not confirm if any Taleban planes were damaged in the attacks.

Amir said citizens were fully cooperating with the Taleban government. He said people were ready to fight the US till the end.

"This is our tradition and people have seen it during all previous wars with Afghanistan, the last being with the Soviets."

He said the US was a 'big satan' hell bent on toppling the Taleban regime in a bid to impose a government of its own choice in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a report by the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news service quoted Mullah Omar as saying that the Taleban would forcefully resist the US-led attacks.

The Taleban also decided to reinforce military positions against the attacks designed to flush out bin Laden and members of his Al Qaeda network.

"Though the Taleban have already strengthened their military bases, the new decision includes deployment of forces at some more places and tactics of resistance," the agency said.

Indo-Asian News Service

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