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October 10, 2001
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Defence capability of Afghanistan intact: Taleban

Taleban Ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaaef, on Wednesday pooh-poohed US claims of destroying the defence capability of the regime, and said a US missile had in fact landed in a civilian locality in Kabul killing scores.

He also denied reports that opposition forces have made advances towards Kabul.

The ambassador also said Taleban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, and suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden were safe and alive.

The Taleban news conference came just hours after US-led forces conducted new daylight air strikes on Wednesday in Afghanistan.

The daylight strikes hit targets near Kandahar in south-central Afghanistan.

Earlier, the Qatar-based television network Al Jazeera had broadcast a statement from Al Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu-Gheith, who praised the hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks, and said there were thousands of young Muslims willing to die, while carrying out more attacks on the United States.

Abou-Gheith did not explicitly say Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks.

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