Skip to comments.U.S. Jets Strike Kabul on Sabbath
Posted on 10/26/2001 5:47:18 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct 26, 2001 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- U.S. jets struck Kabul on the Muslim sabbath Friday, rocking the city with huge explosions and blasting a Red Cross compound for a second time this month. The Taliban captured a noted opposition figure reportedly on a peace mission on behalf of the U.S.-backed former king.
During late night bombing Thursday, three children were killed - two from one family living in the northwest area of the city and a third from the east part of town, officials at the Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital said. The United States has repeatedly said it is not targeting civilians and regrets any loss of life.
Despite days of U.S. bombing aimed at crucial supply lines north of the capital city of Kabul, Taliban forces appeared to hold their ground. Opposition commanders complained the attacks were too weak to break the Taliban lines.
After another night of sometimes intense bombing, three huge detonations shook Kabul at midday, raising clouds of smoke from the direction of the airport and the Khair Khana district to the north. It was unclear where the third explosion occurred.
One of the blasts struck a compound of the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to security guard Abdul Shakour. He said warehouses used to store humanitarian supplies were damaged and stocks of rice, beans, blankets and oil were on fire. The compound was hit during an attack Oct. 16.
Following the attack, bright orange flames roared through the ICRC warehouse as the ICRC's Afghan staff stood and watched helplessly.
"This is the second time our warehouses have been hit," ICRC worker Abdul Rashid said as he watched the flames. "Of course I am sad. We had special programs over the next several days to distribute these items to the disabled people."
During a sermon at a Kabul mosque Friday, an Islamic cleric said the "infidel hit our nation, even on Friday. They are very unkind to our people." He urged the faithful to be patient because "we will win."
President Bush launched the airstrikes Oct. 7 after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, chief suspect in the September terrorist attacks in the United States.
Taliban forces, meanwhile, told the Afghan Islamic Press agency that they had captured Abdul Haq and a companion about 20 miles south of Kabul. Haq, a guerrilla leader in the war against the Soviets, slipped into Afghanistan with peace proposals on behalf of former king Mohammad Zaher Shah, an aide to the former monarch said in Rome.
The United States and other Western countries have urged the former king to play a major role in forming a government to replace the Taliban.
Haq's family confirmed the report during a news conference in Peshawar, Pakistan. "The mission was not against the Taliban," Haq's brother Hajid bin Mohammad said. "The mission was for Afghanistan."
In other attacks-related developments:
- Britain announced Friday it will commit 200 special forces troops to the offensive in Afghanistan as part of a larger military force to include warships and planes. They are to be stationed on assault ships in the region, and another 400 are to be on standby, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram told Parliament.
-Marine Corps commandant Gen. James Jones said the Marines' top special operations unit is ready to deploy to Afghanistan on six hours' notice. He spoke aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea.
-Secretary of State Colin Powell was leading a worldwide public relations campaign designed to convince hundreds of thousands of skeptical Muslims that the U.S. campaign to eliminate the al-Qaida terrorism network is not a conflict with Islam.
-Attorney General John Ashcroft warned terrorists that authorities will use every law and immigration violation to put them behind bars and to intercept their communications, even their unopened electronic and voice mail.
The front line north of Kabul was generally quiet early Friday, although high-flying military aircraft, visible only by their jet trails, could be seen heading toward the north.
Despite five days of U.S. bombardment, the Taliban appeared to have remained in their positions that threaten the opposition-held Bagram airport. That prevents the opposition from using the airfield as a supply hub for bolstering their forces in case they try to move on Kabul.
In Moscow, the alliance envoy to Russia, Abdul Wahad Assefi, told reporters Russian military supplies have begun flowing to the opposition, but he refused to give further details.
A Russian Defense Ministry official said earlier this month that the fresh equipment will include 40 T-55 tanks, 80 BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, several dozen armored personnel carriers, up to 10 Grad multiple rocket launchers, and anti-aircraft rockets and light arms. The official said the weapons would be delivered by the end of October, the Interfax-Military News Agency said.
During an interview with The Associated Press in opposition-controlled Dashtak, the anti-Taliban movement's main spokesman complained that American front line attacks - usually carried out by only one or two planes - were too weak to dislodge the Taliban.
"There was a lot of room for better conduct of this operation," Abdullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name, said. "For example, the intensities of the strikes on the Taliban front lines could have been much more concentrated. There could have been much better impact."
Nevertheless, there was no exchange of fire Friday morning between Taliban and northern alliance fighters on the front line in Kapisa province that has been repeatedly hit.
Northern alliance fighters interpreted that as a sign that the Taliban forces in the area are being hit hard by U.S. strikes - and they called for more supplies, especially ammunition.
"If we get the support we need, we could finish off the Taliban in three hours of fighting," said 33-year-old fighter Shirin Agha, resting with his comrades on pillows and carpets in a two-story mud house in the village of Jamal Agha, where his contingent is based. "We could get the upper hand and the Taliban would be weakened."
By KATHY GANNON Associated Press Writer
Copyright 2001 Associated Press, All rights reserved
1. What is the significance of Friday in Islam. Is it a day of rest and is it fair to describe it the "Muslim Sabbath"?
Friday is a very important day for Muslims. In terms of its significance, it can best be described as the 'Eid of the week'. It is also known as the 'Day Of Assembly' on which Muslims show their unity by sharing in public worship. When asked about its significance the Holy Prophet (s.A.w.) is reported to have said, "Friday is the day on which Adam was created and the day on which the Day of Judgement will be."
In a sense, Friday can be considered as the Muslim Sabbath in that Muslims are forbidden to conduct any business during the time of Friday Prayer. According to the Qur'an: "O You who believe! When the call to prayer is proclaimed on Friday, hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business (and traffic): that is best for you if you but knew."
Muslim scholars have deduced from this Qur'anic verse that all business matters must be temporarily suspended once the adhan, or call to prayer, is given. All contracts signed or heard after the adhan is heard are deemed to be invalid. However, there is no compulsion for Muslims not to work on Fridays in the same way Jews are forbidden to work on Saturday. According to the Qur'an: "And when the prayer is finished, then may you disperse through the land, and seek of the bounty of Allah: and celebrate the praises of Allah often that you may prosper." The Companion, Abdullah Ibn Abbas (May God be pleased with him) went as far as to say that this verse gave Muslims permission-to use the rest of the day for social visits, go to tend to the sick and visit fellow Muslims.
The Holy Prophet (s.A.w.) is reported to have said that Allah seals the heart of a person if he misses three consecutive Friday prayers.
If they are poisoning stuff to blame it on us, look for more of this activity.
Go, George, go!
"U.S. jets struck Kabul on the Muslim sabbath Friday, rocking the city with huge explosions and blasting a Red Cross compound for a second time this month"
Yep. That's the ticket. What better place to hide than someplace that's already been bombed, especially a "Red Cross" facility?
From the third sentence of the article:
During late night bombing Thursday, three children were killed - two from one family living in the northwest area of the city and a third from the east part of town, officials at the Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital said.
Yeah, the AP is in the sewer, gleefully helping with the enemy's propaganda campaign. How pathetic.
First she was in Kabul - "After another night of sometimes intense bombing, three huge detonations shook Kabul at midday, raising clouds of smoke from the direction of the airport and the Khair Khana district to the north. It was unclear where the third explosion occurred."
Then she was on the front lines to the north of Kabul - "Despite five days of U.S. bombardment, the Taliban appeared to have remained in their positions that threaten the opposition-held Bagram airport. That prevents the opposition from using the airfield as a supply hub for bolstering their forces in case they try to move on Kabul."
Then she moved across the lines separating the Taliban and the Northern Alliance and had time for a chat with a Northern Alliance spokesman: "During an interview with The Associated Press in opposition-controlled Dashtak, the anti-Taliban movement's main spokesman complained that American front line attacks - usually carried out by only one or two planes - were too weak to dislodge the Taliban."
Yes, overall I would say yesterday was a very busy day for Ms. Gannon.
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