Skip to comments.U.S. Hits Taliban Base Inside Kabul
Posted on 11/05/2001 12:06:54 AM PST by HAL9000
KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. rockets on Monday blasted a hotel in the Afghan capital used by Taliban troops, leaving the street littered with the wreckage of a Taliban vehicle and pieces of bodies, residents said.
They heard what sounded like helicopters before the rockets slammed into the base just before dawn. That would mark a change in U.S. tactics from using high-flying jets.
``We don't know about deaths, but some Taliban have been wounded and one part of the hotel has been damaged,'' Abdul Hanan Himat, an information ministry spokesman, said, playing down the reports of bodies.
Warplanes, including a B-52 bomber, had roared over Kabul but the focus of U.S. bombing seemed to be the front lines of the ruling Taliban north of the Afghan capital and the roads leading toward them.
``There are certainly casualties, but (they are) not many compared with the amount of bombs that are dropped there,'' Himat said, maintaining that the Taliban had adjusted tactics to minimize casualties.
The Taliban asked the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to take the body of an American reported to have died in custody in southern Afghanistan. The U.S. embassy in Pakistan said it was investigating but had no details.
The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) agency reported air raids overnight across the country, which has been the target of U.S. bombing for 29 days.
Himat said 15 civilians were killed overnight and 22 wounded by U.S. bombing in the Daman district of the southern city of Kandahar and in the Keshendeh area in the south of the northern province of Balkh.
The sound of small arms fire followed the attack on Kabul. This reporter could hear but not see jets in the overcast sky and what sounded like helicopter gunships. The overflights lasted about two and a half hours.
Many people in the city were at prayers when the missiles landed. Many were also out in the street collecting water.
The United States has been bombing Afghanistan in an attempt to flush out Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, blamed for the September 11 attacks on the United States, and to punish his ruling Taliban protectors.
But Kabul has been spared in recent days with the focus of U.S. strikes on Taliban front lines. The Taliban control most of Afghanistan, while the opposition Northern Alliance control pockets in the north and northeast.
AIP said planes attacked the Taliban 11th battalion and military installations at Herat airport in the west, killing at least two civilians. The Taliban power base of Kandahar in the south was also hit.
Planes attacked Keshendeh, 60 miles south of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed six civilians in a house, AIP said. There was no independent confirmation of any of the reports.
FIGHTING IN THE NORTH
The Northern Alliance has reported fierce fighting south of Mazar-i-Sharif, a crossroads city held by the Taliban which controls supply routes to western Afghanistan and the central Asian republics.
U.S. bombers were in action above the Shomali plain north of Kabul where the Taliban are dug in on hills preventing the opposition from using Bagram airbase below.
Heavy ``stick'' bombing by B-52s directed by U.S. soldiers on the ground has taken its toll on the Taliban according to aid workers in Islamabad who estimate that up to 300 Taliban wounded have been taken to Kabul military hospitals in the past week.
Military experts in Pakistan said that with the number of wounded at that level, the number of dead would be between 30 and 50.
In Islamabad, the Red Cross said its local staff in Kandahar were trying to verify the identity of the dead American to see if a government or relatives would be available to receive the body at the border.
AIP quoted Taliban ambassador Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef as saying an American had died in custody on Sunday after being arrested near Kandahar a few days ago. Zaeef said he was suspected of being a spy.
``We have to confirm there is a government or family member willing to receive the body at the border,'' said an ICRC spokesman. ``We should know by the end of day.''
Hotel destroyed in Kabul by US bombing raid
ABU DHABI, Nov 05, 2001 (Itar-Tass via COMTEX) -- A hotel was destroyed in Kabul by U.S. missiles on Monday. The Vaghi Bala hotel was situated in the western part of the Afghan capital, close to the centre of the city. Several trucks with Taliban troops were also destroyed.
U.S. planes subjected to "carpet bombing" the northern regions of Afghanistan on Sunday night. The blows were dealt, in the first place, at the positions of the Taliban troops near the city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
(c) 1996-2001 ITAR-TASS. All rights reserved.
Bigtime change, or rather the next step in the progression of tactical employment.
Stay Safe !
This is good news. It will force the Taliban to hide even more.
Come and git yourn BBQ body parts here. Yum! Please pass the Taliban hand up front here. I'm gonna git some fresh fingers to eat.
Right. Like hiding in mosques, schools, and hospitals.
Stay Safe !
Not to mention lying.
Heavy ``stick'' bombing by B-52s directed by U.S. soldiers on the ground has taken its toll on the Taliban according to aid workers in Islamabad who estimate that up to 300 Taliban wounded have been taken to Kabul military hospitals in the past week. Military experts in Pakistan said that with the number of wounded at that level, the number of dead would be between 30 and 50.
Who knows anything about these numbers? The only thing we can know for sure is that they are bare minimums. We know that the number of wounded can't be LESS than the 300 that the aid workers counted, but could be considerably more. Also, about this supposed ratio of 1/10 killed. Did that ratio hold true in WTC? I don't think so. Would it hold true if one of the rockets scored a direct hit on a dining hall crammed with soldiers? I don't think so. I think we can reasonably hope for a much higher scumbag bodycount than the press is willing to admit.
I could more readily understand helicopters being used if they were escorting some ground troops (special forces) on a covert mission than just an attack on a Taliban base within a city.
I guess we will have to wait for U.S. confirmation to know exactly what happened.
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