Jasper Johns - Flag - 1954-55

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"Janat Gul said 24 members of his family were killed in the pre-dawn U.S. bombing raid on Qalaye Niazi, and described himself as the sole survivor.

At least 12 houses in Qalaye Niazi were razed. Amid the destruction, a Reuters Television cameraman saw scraps of flesh, pools of blood and clumps of what appeared to be human hair. Huge craters had been blasted out by the strike."
"Afghan interior minister Younis Qanooni has accused the Pakistani secret service of helping al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden flee Afghanistan."
Any good war on terrorism requires a large supply of cruise missiles.
"The first phase of the war in Afghanistan came to an inconclusive end last week amid growing US acceptance that the campaign, fought mostly by air power and proxy armies, had enjoyed only limited success. It destroyed the Taliban regime but failed to deliver the movement's key leaders."
"In the last decade, as thousands of young Saudis left their country to wage Islamic holy war, Saudi leaders let them go, aware of the danger they might pose to the United States, but more focused on the danger they would pose at home."
"Survivors are trickling back to Madoo village which was pulverised a month ago in the massive US bombing of the Tora Bora region, where suspected terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden was believed to be hiding. Dozens of bodies of civilians lie buried in a makeshift cemetery or under the rubble."
"Mohammad Habeel, an Afghan defence ministry spokesman, suggested that the bombing, blamed for killing dozens of civilians in the past week, should end within days. 'Without the approval of local commanders and the defence ministry, America cannot bomb Afghanistan at will,' he said."

That's what you think, Mohammad.
The US joint chiefs of staff are considering an ambitious plan for the military overthrow of Saddam Hussein, officials said yesterday."
"'For example, the Taliban used to hang the victim's body in public for four days. We will only hang the body for a short time, say 15 minutes.'"

Ya can't make up stuff this good.
"Guards admitted yesterday to the Guardian that they routinely tortured inmates during interrogations to extract information, which was given to American officials trying to identify suspects to be prosecuted in the US."
"The villagers said they did not understand why they had been bombed, saying that no members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda militant network were in the area."
But it's such wonderful practice.
Forget treason. Walker should consult the CIA on how to infiltrate groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
"Rabbani's story illustrates an important element of the war in Afghanistan. While the Taliban has been defeated, it is still very much in place."
"A tale of tribal treachery, Arab mercenaries and how the Americans may have been used to settle an Afghan blood feud emerged yesterday behind the bombing of a convoy that left up to 60 people dead and 40 injured."
"U.S. officials said Saturday they were still confident that a convoy bombed by American warplanes two days earlier was a legitimate target but retreated from categorical denials that the victims were Afghan tribal elders and promised a full investigation."
"One villager, named as Khodai Noor, told the television crew that, after the convoy had been diverted, a hostile local commander had called in US warplanes, saying the cars were carrying members of Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network."
"U.S. warplanes bombed a convoy of Afghan tribal elders going to Kabul to attend the swearing in of an interim government, killing 65 people after locals misinformed the Pentagon, provincial leaders said on Friday."
"A new ABCNEWS translation of the Osama bin Laden videotape released last week reveals information that may be embarrassing to Saudi Arabia, a very important U.S. ally."
"Some of the anti-terrorism 'alliances of convenience' America has forged against al-Qaeda and the Taliban with countries like Pakistan could breed more terrorism and pose long-term risks to US national security, warns a scholar at a leading non-government think tank."
"While showering fulsome praise on Pakistan for its 'cooperation' in apprehending fleeing terrorists, U.S analysts and commentators have also questioned Islamabad sincerity in doing the job, particularly since there is a widespread belief that sections of the Pakistani army and intelligence still retain sympathy for the routed Taliban."
"Although precise figures have not yet been made available, the war in Afghanistan will almost certainly cost the United States billions of dollars. The Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, (CSBA) a non-profit making think-tank, estimates the cost of the campaign so far as between $1bn and $2.2bn."
"The continued presence of the vanquished army speaks volumes about Afghanistan's distinctive style of war and politics. The same men who are blood enemies one day find themselves neighbors, co-workers or even allies the next. Yet because the Taliban army was more disbanded than defeated, the question remains whether it could be reconstituted into a viable guerrilla force that might destabilize the interim government slated to take power Saturday."

We had better save some bombs for later.
"The survey, by the Pew Research Center, Princeton Survey Research Associates and the International Herald Tribune newspaper, provides further evidence of the gap between how Americans view themselves and how others in the world do."
"Virtually the entire top leadership of the Taliban has survived the American bombing and eluded capture by American-backed Afghan forces, according to United States officials and people close to the Taliban."
"... it also shows the pitfalls in the alliance's effort to find a balance between incorporating Taliban collaborators into Afghanistan's future while also stamping out terrorism."
"Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday warned the United States against expanding it wars on terrorism to Iraq, saying there is no evidence connecting Baghdad to the Sept. 11 attacks."
"Somalia's shaky U.N.-recognized administration has been accused by opponents of harboring Islamic radicals linked to Osama bin Laden, but has firmly denied the charges."
"Many Kenyans with raw memories of 1998 bombings carried out by followers of Osama bin Laden are watching uneasily as their government contemplates helping U.S. anti-terror action in neighboring Somalia."
Another piece from Seymour Hersh.
"The United States has decided to take its fight against Osama bin Laden's terror network to Somalia, a senior German official said early Wednesday."
"The U.S. military's joint chiefs of staff said on Wednesday there must be coordination between U.S. troops and the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, and the military operation would take priority."
"American military chiefs named Somalia as a potential target for military action yesterday, raising expectations that the east African nation would be the next arena in the war against terrorism."
"NPR's Ivan Watson in eastern Afghanistan reports on civilian casualties during the two weeks of U.S. airstrikes against al Qaeda fighters loyal to Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora region." (4:30)
"A bitter dispute between Europe and the United States over the multinational force for Afghanistan has delayed its deployment and forced Britain to provide 200 Royal Marines at less than a week's notice."
"The US-led war against terrorism entered a new phase yesterday when military action switched from Afghanistan to Yemen, where government forces used tanks, helicopters and artillery to storm mountain villages suspected of harbouring Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network."
"US-backed Afghan militia fighters who are holding dozens of al-Qaeda fighters will hand them over to the new interim government and not to any foreign country, a report said on Tuesday."
"With al-Qaeda forces on the run, driven from the mountain caves of Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan has become the likeliest place of refuge for warriors loyal to Osama bin Laden. The rugged and porous border is 1,340 miles long — the distance from Florida to northern Maine."
"Pakistan's agenda to gain control of Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban and to use the territory of this country to spread terror in Kashmir is still intact, president of Afghanistan's military security Gen. Mohammed Zahir Akbar has said."
"While anti-Taliban forces claim to have routed Osama bin Laden's troops, the enemy still looms and the victors fight amongst themselves."
"Hundreds of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters have slipped across the Afghan border and evaded the Pakistani Army to disappear into remote tribal areas, Western and Pakistani officials said today."
"The failure so far to capture Osama bin Laden is forcing the Bush administration to confront the possibility that he may remain at large for some time, a development that could complicate the campaign in Afghanistan and cause political repercussions at home."
"As a US ally in war on terror, President Musharraf walks a fine line with his own military and public."
"What causes the documented high level of civilian casualties -- 3,767 [thru December 6, 2001] civilian deaths in eight and a half weeks -- in the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan? The explanation is the apparent willingness of U.S. military strategists to fire missiles into and drop bombs upon, heavily populated areas of Afghanistan."
"DO NOT USE wire stories which lead with civilian casualties from the U.S. war on Afghanistan. They should be mentioned further down in the story. If the story needs rewriting to play down the civilian casualties, DO IT. The only exception is if the U.S. hits an orphanage, school or similar facility and kills scores or hundreds of children."
"Mosques and religious seminaries across Afghanistan that helped 'spawn the Taliban' in the 1990s would continue to serve as its power base, Pakistani officials have said."
"The United States on Monday intensified the hunt for al-Qaeda fighters after the apparent fall of their cave compound at Tora Bora in Afghanistan, with one US television network reporting US special forces were dispatched to Pakistan to head off fleeing enemy troops."
"The case for widening the war on terrorism against Iraq suffered a major setback yesterday when a vital piece of evidence allegedly linking Baghdad to the September 11 attacks appeared unfounded."
"Arab governments believe that the American priority in the Middle East should be halting the bloodshed between the Israelis and the Palestinians rather than trying to rewrite the end of the Persian Gulf war more than a decade after President Hussein's government survived in Baghdad."
"The option of taking the war against terrorism to Iraq and Saddam Hussein has gained significant ground in recent weeks both inside the administration and among some important allies in the Muslim world, according to administration officials and diplomats from the region."
"Hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters have fled from the caves of Tora Bora into the snow-capped mountains that mark the Pakistan border, and Osama bin Laden may be among them, according to United States intelligence officials, who acknowledged today that they had lost track of him."
"There are strong indications that the United States is preparing to launch air attacks on Somalia from bases in neighbouring Kenya, despite convincing evidence that al-Qa'ida groups of any significance are unlikely to be operating in the country."

Bombs Away!
"Mujahedin fightersand American bombers were pursuing the fleeing remnants of al-Qa'ida in the White Mountains of Afghanistan yesterday, as hopes of finding Osama bin Laden dwindled."
"With the capture of the Tora Bora cave complex, the United States has achieved a major aim in its campaign against the al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan. But security experts warn that the loss of al-Qaeda's base will not shut down the network accused of carrying out the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington."
"A defence correspondent for Pakistani newspaper, The News, told the BBC that he believed there was "every likelihood" that rumours that the al-Qaeda leader has already crossed the border are correct."
"Russia expects the US to consult it before taking the "war against terrorism" anywhere beyond Afghanistan, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times."
"Flight into Pakistan by bin Laden and his allies would raise delicate issues of jurisdiction for the United States, making U.S. ground pursuit or bombing raids unlikely."

But bombing works.
"America's campaign to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and exterminate his organisation was in disarray last night after Afghan warlords battling al-Qaida in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan announced that they were calling off the hunt, while Washington admitted the Saudi-born terrorist could have escaped to Pakistan."
"Hundreds of al Qaeda fighters were escaping into snowy mountains toward Pakistan today as the battle to seize their mountainous base appeared to be nearing a close, Afghan commanders said. There was no sign of the primary target of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, their leader Osama bin Laden."
"The Taliban has been driven from power, but almost all its top leaders remain at large, in many cases through battlefield deals that exchanged the peaceful surrender of territory for the safety of the defeated commander."
"With the collapse of Al Qaeda forces in Tora Bora and the installation of a new, if shaky, government in Afghanistan, the Bush administration is putting out two messages: It's not over till it's over, and even when this first phase of the war does end, Mr. Bush plans to move quickly to other terrorist havens."
"An Iraqi opposition leader has lobbied the US government with a war plan against Saddam Hussein, calling for an air assault and the deployment of American special forces."
"Genetic fingerprinting studies indicate that the anthrax spores mailed to Capitol Hill are identical to stocks of the deadly bacteria maintained by the U.S. Army since 1980, according to scientists familiar with the most recent tests."
"Perhaps someday there will be a reckoning for this tiny village of 15 houses, all of them obliterated into splintered wood and dust by American bombs. United States military officials might explain why 55 people died here.

But more likely, Madoo will not learn whether the bombs fell by mistake or on purpose, and the matter will be forgotten amid the larger consequences of war. It is left an anonymous hamlet with anonymous people buried in anonymous graves."
"Many bombs missed their mark. They landed on farmers and their families, flattening homes and killing people in bunches. Some died in flashes of heat and fire, others were crushed under rubble, and a few were killed by shrapnel.

'The United States has destroyed my house and my family,' Mr. Qadir said. 'We were poor people. In all my life we made this one home, and the United States destroyed all of it completely. Can you tell me why?'"
"Gangs of Northern Alliance soldiers have unleashed a crimewave of looting and killing in Kabul which is awakening nostalgia for the Taliban."
"The former director-general of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul, nicknamed the "godfather of the Taliban", is believed to be behind moves to help the Taliban establish a base in Pakistan's autonomous Pashtun tribal belt, which borders eastern Afghanistan."

Forget Iraq and Somalia. Pakistan needs to be added to the predictor.
"Osama bin Laden escaped the embattled Tora Bora base to Pakistan 10 days ago with the help of tribesmen from the Ghilzi tribe, according to a firsthand account Wednesday by a senior Al Qaeda operative and Saudi financier."
"The last remnants of al-Qaeda’s once powerful military force in Afghanistan were trickling across the border into Pakistan yesterday after the death or capture of more than half their fighters."
"All the top Taleban leadership, including Mullah Muhammad Omar, who have survived US airstrikes are either hiding in Afghanistan or have moved to Pakistan, where they have strong links with Islamic religious parties. Nine former Taleban ministers surfaced in Islamabad last week, when they announced the formation of a new party."
This is nothing that a few Daisy Cutters couldn't take care of.
"Despite the success of opposition forces in routing Qaida fighters from cave complexes in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials say they are concerned that most of the terrorist network's leadership has escaped the onslaught."
"The British have been keen from the beginning to lead the way for peacekeeping forces in Kabul, citing their experience in countries like Sierra Leone. The Americans have been equally mindful of keeping their military effort restricted to the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his partners in crime. 'Nation building' is not on the US agenda."
"Men with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades cruised the darkened avenues of Kandahar last night, fuelling fears of a return to chaos even as its new leader pledged to keep order in the world's most dangerous city."
"The city paid a high price for the resistance of the Taliban. Ghulam Mohammad, the head nurse at the Mirwais hospital, said between 50 and 60 wounded patients had been admitted each day of the Bars Surrender of Qaida and Presses Attack With Bombs and Special Forces 12/13
"U.S. military advisers stepped in Wednesday to block a surrender deal offered by Osama bin Laden's remaining fighters, pressuring Afghan leaders to renew their attack instead on the cornered holdouts of the Qaida organization and agreeing that U.S. special forces will now take a leading role in the ground battle."
"U.S. military operatives stepped in today to oppose a surrender deal offered by Osama bin Laden's fighters, pressuring Afghan leaders to instead renew their attack on the cornered holdouts, Afghan commanders said."
"A Somalia militia leader urged the United States on Wednesday to act against followers of Osama bin Laden who he said were fleeing to the shattered African nation."
"One was the frail son of wealthy Egyptian parents, a former medical student who rejected a life of money and status.

The other was the street-savvy high-school dropout who favored James Bond movies and became so adept with the finer points of terrorism that he wrote a training manual.

Nearly 15 years ago, this unlikely duo--Khaled Abul-Dahab and Ali Mohamed--established the first U.S. outpost for what would evolve into Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network."
"As the version two of the great game is being played out in the killing fields of Afghanistan, western analysts are watching with great interest the India-Pakistan sideshow that has all the trappings of a regional rivalry."
"President Bush gave warning yesterday that "rogue states" with weapons of mass destruction would be his next priority in the war against terrorism, in a signal that Iraq could soon be targeted."
"It has taken Britain's top military officer to say publicly what may seem obvious but which ministers do not like being reminded of. You cannot win the "war" against terrorism by bombing. Indeed, military action could have precisely the opposite effect to the one intended, he warned."
"US State Department officials are meeting Kurdish opposition leaders in northern Iraq, fuelling speculation that the US is planning to extend its war on terror to the country."
"'We're in chaos. I'm not sure we know what we're doing here,' says Jalalabad Mayor Engineer Ghafar, a former mujahedin, or holy warrior, who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. He then yells at several soldierineer Ghafar, a former mujahedin, or holy warrior, who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. He then yells at several soldiers who are lounging on a tank drinking tea. 'Look at this: We're not fighting a war, we're having a picnic.'"
"Ghazni illustrates what is happening in much of southern Afghanistan, as the lower half of the country reverts to feudalism in the absence of any central authority."
"Hamid Karzai, the Pashtun commander who has been named leader of Afghanistan's interim government, warned the United States today to never again 'walk away from Afghanistan' and promised his country will be 'a good friend, a trusted friend and an ally' in the fight against terrorism."
"The Pentagon has moved the headquarters of its 3rd Army from America to Kuwait, apparently in preparation for expanding the war on terrorism to Somalia and elsewhere."
"Britain's most senior armed forces officer said bluntly last night that a decision by the US to widen its military campaign against al-Qaida terrorists could further radicalise Arab opinion.

It was important to rebuild Afghanistan and attack the causes of al-Qaida terrorism by mounting a "hearts and minds "campaign across the Arab world, he said in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute in London."
"The toppling of the Taliban may eventually prove to be the best thing to have happened in Afghanistan for a decade. But it was not an initial aim of the US-led war. In the wake of their departure from Kandahar, that point cannot be stressed enough, before the drumbeat of triumpalism deafens us all. Victory over the wrong opponent is not much of a victory. It sounds more like "collateral benefit" - provided we are sure the benefit outweighs the costs."
"Some administration observers say Secretary of State Colin Powell favors engagement with North Korea, while other officials support starving the regime into submission through sanctions. Critics observe that a similar approach failed in Afghanistan."
"Interim Prime Minister Hassan Abshir Farah has strongly rejected American charges that the al-Qaeda network led by Osama Bin Laden has bases in Somalia."
"American officers have secretly entered Somalia in the first indication of President Bush's determination to extend the war against terrorism."
"PENTAGON planners see Somalia as a perfect target for “phase two” of the campaign against terrorism. Al-Qaeda has well-documented links with the country and the lack of any authority capable of dealing with the terrorist threat means that outside force will have to be used to root it out.

Yet the return of American soldiers to Somalia has evoked haunting memories for the US military, which is determined not to repeat its disastrous mission of a decade ago, when American forces suffered heavy casualties and made a humiliating retreat from Mogadishu."
"The five-year rule of the Taliban, exceptionally harsh even in a land governed for decades by bloodletting, came to an official end on Sunday."

Everything's better now.
"If western strategists were to ask themselves whether the new Afghanistan looks better than the old one: the answer would have to be no."
"Saudi Arabia's top security official said this weekend that he believed that militants other than Osama bin Laden stood at the helm of Al Qaeda, and he warned that the arrest or killing of Mr. bin Laden would not cripple the terrorist organization."
"There were increasing indications last night that the US has honed a hit list of countries to target for military action in rogue regions across the globe where it believes terror cells flourish."
"Days after the Taliban finally relinquished control of their last stronghold of Kandahar, the city appeared to be in serious danger of being caught up in new fighting between rival warlords."
"The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has warned the United States not to take action against Iraq as part of its declared war on terrorism."
"Even after cobbling together an interim government for Afghanistan, U.S. officials believe the United States and other foreign governments will need to do a lot of handholding to keep that coalition together and help it function effectively in a devastated and divided country."
"The patients in the intensive care unit of Jalalabad's Public Hospital No. 1 are burned and bloodied, their limbs amputated.

Most cannot speak; many are children who lie unconscious and bruised beneath ragged, filthy blankets. Altogether, 36 patients have been admitted here who say they are victims of U.S. bombing strikes on their villages southwest of Jalalabad. The hospital has also taken in 35 dead, according to chief physician Gulojan Shinwari."
"Thousands of Afghans are abandoning their homes in the east of the country to escape United States air strikes on civilian villages that have killed hundreds of people. 'American warplanes targeting Al-Qaida fighters in the White Mountains also bombed nearby villages, killing and injuring unknown numbers and forcing thousands to flee to the regional capital, Jalalabad,' a UN official said."
"The Uzbek general Abdul Rashid Dostum, whose forces dominate much of northern Afghanistan, complained Thursday that the Uzbeks were not fairly represented under the accord struck in Bonn and even threatened to boycott the new six-month interim government."
In other developments: "Medecins sans Frontieres says more than 80 Afghan civilians have been killed in US bombing in the Tora Bora area of eastern Afghanistan in recent days."
"Could a photographer take pictures of the wounded arriving? No.

Could print reporters just stand to the side and observe? No.

Could reporters talk to Marine pilots who had airlifted the wounded to the base? No.

Could they talk to doctors after they had finished treating the wounded? No."

"Aid agency Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Thursday it had withdrawn foreign staff from the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad because of concern over anti-Western feelings caused by U.S. air strikes."
"Signs of a growing split are emerging within Afghanistan's dominant Northern Alliance over the new power-sharing agreement signed on Wednesday in Bonn."
"From Islamabad's's point of view, it is increasingly apparent that it has lost more than it gained."
Tragi-comic irony narrowly averted as Hamid Karzai, leader of Afghanistan's interim government, suffers only minor injuries from the blast.
"Ten leading members of Congress have signed a letter urging President Bush to make the Iraqi regime the next major target in the war on terrorism, declaring that "as we work to clean up Afghanistan and destroy al Qaeda, it is imperative that we plan to eliminate the threat from Iraq."

Let's roll already.
"As a former Deputy Foreign Minister, Hamid Karzai is seen by many as a lightweight whose capacity for leadership is untested. With no strong political base of his own, he is likely to be overshadowed by more powerful ministers from the Northern Alliance."
"The deaths of three US special forces operatives and five anti-Taliban Afghans in an American bomb attack were by far the most serious 'friendly fire' incident of the eight-week campaign. They renewed concern about the reliability of 'smart', or precision-guided, bombs."
"Mohammad Naeem left Kandahar seven days ago, after burying his wife and two of his children, ages 6 and 7. He has just arrived in Chaman today, after waiting in a no-man's land between Afghanistan and Pakistan with thousands of other unregistered Afghan refugees. While he says Kandahar remains under firm Taliban control, he says he has no other thoughts about the future of Afghanistan, just for the survival of his family.

'How can I feel about this situation?' he says, unloading his belongings from a donkey cart and putting them into a tent in a camp run by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. 'I lost my wife and children. Now I have seven children to look after by myself.'"
"As millions of hungry and sick Afghans wait for help, rival warlords and bandits have made large parts of the country so lawless that local and foreign aid workers can't deliver desperately needed supplies, relief officials say."
"Most of the refugees came from the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan - the Pashtuns - from where the Taleban also drew their support. They said they were scared of the increasing breakdown in law and order, the American bombing and the threat of insecurity in Afghanistan."
"Northern Iraq's two main Kurdish factions said on Wednesday they were wary of the U.S. war on terrorism targeting President Saddam Hussein's government and said Iraqis must be left to decide their country's fate."

Novel idea.
"Secretary of State Colin Powell reassured NATO ally Turkey on Wednesday that the United States had no immediate plans to extend its 'war on terrorism' to Turkey's southeastern neighbor Iraq."
"Afghanistan's future foreign minister pledged on Wednesday that its interim government would show that Afghans could work together and he defended the dominance of his Northern Alliance in the new team."
"It took nearly 4,000 American deaths, the destruction of the World Trade Center and a war in Afghanistan to make it happen, but key members of Congress now want to share more of America's wealth with other nations."
"The Taliban managed to take over Afghanistan in the 1990s partly because the United States had abandoned the country after helping Afghans expel the Soviet Union. The United States and its allies must not allow such a vacuum to recur – even though the cost will be high – according to a new report by an international group."
"The village where nothing happened is reached by a steep climb at the end of a rattling three-hour drive along a stony road. Until nothing happened here, early on the morning of Saturday and again the following day, it was a large village with a small graveyard, but now that has been reversed. The cemetery on the hill contains 40 freshly dug graves, unmarked and identical. And the village of Kama Ado has ceased to exist."
"Thousands of Afghans are abandoning their homes in the east of the country to escape United States air strikes on civilian villages that have killed hundreds of people. For the fourth consecutive night, American warplanes targeting al-Qa'ida fighters in the White Mountains also bombed nearby villages, killing and injuring unknown numbers and forcing thousands to flee to the regional capital, Jalalabad."
"Almost all the refugees are ethnic Pashtuns escaping the fighting and bombing focused around Kandahar in southern Afghanistan."
"The United Nations said on Monday factional fighting made it unsafe for its international staff to return to the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The UN refugee agency in neighbouring Pakistan also said it would relocate refugees from northern Afghanistan because of tensions over last week's killings of Pakistani Taliban prisoners near Mazar-i-Sharif."
"Scores of villagers have been killed by off-target American bombing of Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden's suspected mountain hideout, a senior anti-Taliban commander said yesterday."
"Donald Rumsfeld claims that Somalia is harbouring al-Qaida. But repeated efforts to verify this have failed to turn up any evidence."
"Thousands of people have joined an exodus from Kandahar, the last city held by the Taliban, as it has come under intensified US bombing and pressure from Afghan tribal forces. The United Nations estimates that 2,000 people are fleeing Kandahar province for Pakistan daily."
"The Bush Administration sought the power to suspend all suspects' rights in the most extreme example of its squeeze on civil liberties since September 11. According to a draft of the anti-terrorism Bill which was published yesterday, John Ashcroft, the Attorney-General, initially wanted to do away with the fundamental legal tenet of habeas corpus for terrorist suspects."
"Cluster bombs drop smaller bombs, called bomblets, over a wide area. Some explode on contact. Others delay exploding until a certain amount of time has passed, becoming what amounts to an air-dropped minefield."
"Fighting has broken out between rival anti-Taliban factions over the division of spoils in the recently captured northern Afghan city of Kunduz, say Afghan officials and aid workers in the area."
"Russia would oppose a U.S. military strike against Iraq and believes diplomacy is the only way to solve the arms inspections impasse between Washington and Baghdad, a Russian envoy visiting the Middle East said Sunday."
"Scores killed by B-52s."
"Britain has been asked by America to help prepare military strikes against Somalia in the next phase of the global campaign against Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda network."
"America intends to depose Saddam Hussein by giving armed support to Iraqi opposition forces across the country, The Observer has learnt. President George W. Bush has ordered the CIA and his senior military commanders to draw up detailed plans for a military operation that could begin within months."
"It is a hidden war that the world has ignored. But the chaos, rape, murder and pillaging that have swept southern Afghanistan are writ large on the faces of the fortunate few who escape."
"Witnesses and survivors at a nearby hospital said between 100 and 200 villagers were killed Saturday when warplanes dropped more than 25 bombs in four passes over the village of Kama Ado, a distant suburb of Gudara about 30 miles south of Jalalabad."
"Evidence of destruction on the ground and accounts from dozens of witnesses point to a devastating pattern of inaccuracy by US bombers, in sharp contrast to Pentagon assertions of precision bombing."
"-- More than two weeks after the last U.S. cluster bomb struck Taliban troops in this front-line village, lethal bomblets still litter the dirt paths and fields, lying in wait for farmers coming home."
"In an interview with the BBC, Mr Powell said the US was aware of anxieties within Europe and the moderate Arab world, and insisted that no decision had yet been taken by President George W Bush about the next stage of the war."