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America Strikes Back: Attacks Continue in Afghanistan as Northern Alliance Awaits Orders

Aired October 15, 2001 - 06:01   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to now go to Matthew Chance who's on the phone from northern Afghanistan with the latest on Kabul airstrikes. He's with the Northern Alliance forces.

What's the latest Matthew?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Kyra, as you say, there are renewed attacks by the U.S.-led coalition across Afghanistan. It's all very quiet, though, here north of the Afghan capital Kabul on the front line on the territory run by the opposition Northern Alliance.

Let's take a look, though, at the latest round of nighttime airstrikes, at least, brought to you from a nightscope videophone perched in a strategic location north of the capital. You can see those flashed lighting up the skies over the capital Kabul. We do have reports from eyewitnesses there that a telephone exchange has been put out of service because of the latest attacks.

Also a number of other targets struck like underground bunkers and the such like and as you say, artillery pieces and tanks. We've not been able to confirm that here though, from the Northern Alliance side. Sporadic anti-aircraft fire though, noticeable from Taliban gunners around the Afghan capital Kabul well north of the city here in Northern Alliance control territory.

Still very little sign of any movement, any push by those Northern Alliance forces out of their trenches towards Taliban positions across the front line. Northern Alliance forces say they've been placed on high alert. The commanders say they have a battle plan to take Kabul. They've made no bones about the fact that Kabul, the Afghan capital, is their ultimate prize.

But political leaders of the Northern Alliance do appear to be acknowledging, though, that the way ahead may have some difficult decisions before the order is given to move those troops ahead towards Kabul.

Dr. Abdulla Abdulla is the foreign minister of the Northern Alliance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ABDULLA ABDULLA, NORTHERN ALLIANCE FOREIGN MINISTER: We are like 40 kilometers north of Kabul and the issue of Kabul is one of the political as well as military importance for us and also as far as the situation in Afghanistan as a whole is concerned. Moving towards Kabul will need a political decision as well as military circumstances.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHANCE: But one of the big post Taliban concerns of the international community is, of course, that Afghanistan does not return to the kind of factional fighting that really ravaged the country after the withdrawal of the forces of the Soviet Union back in 1989.

Now one of the initiatives on the table is to bring back the deposed former king -- Zahir Shah to head some kind of entering government ahead of elections, but there is still discussions under way. Nothing has been decided yet, though, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right Matthew Chance, thank you so much.

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