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October 24, 2001 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-24

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 24, 2001- 7
Taliban may be hiding in residential areas

A WASHINGTON (AP) - Taliban forces in
Afghanistan may be hiding in residential areas,
aware of the U.S. military's hesitancy to bomb
where civilians might be hit, a senior military
officer said yesterday.
Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem, deputy direc-
tor of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
said he has seen anecdotal evidence of such a
Taliban tactic, which he attributed to their real-
ization that troops in the field or at military
installations are vulnerable to punishing attacks
by American warplanes.
U.S. airstrikes continued yesterday with
about the intensity as the previous day, in
which about 60 carrier-based strike aircraft, 10
long-range bombers and 10 land-based strike
aircraft hit 11 planned target areas, officials

Air Force F-16G fighters entered the fray for
the first time on Monday, a senior defense offi-
cial said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A pair of F-16Gs, equipped with advanced
navigation and targeting systems that enable
precision strikes at night, flew missions from
bases in the Persian Gulf.
Stufflebeem said U.S. airstrikes have hit
every known training camp of the al-Qaida ter-
rorist ring that is the ultimate target of allied
military, financial and diplomatic pressure, and
that bombing has eliminated most of the ruling
Taliban regime's air defenses and communica-
tions. As a result, he said, the Taliban and al-
Qaida are dispersing what's left of their forces
"to save them."
Stufflebeem also cast doubt on the possibili-
ty of ending the air campaign before winter.

"We don't think that's realistic," he said.
US. officials have said repeatedly through
1V days of bombing in Afghanistan that care is
taken to avoid striking targets that may result in
inadvertent civilian casualties. But on yester-
day the Pentagon acknowledged two instances
over the weekend in which errant bombs appar-
ently hit civilian areas.
On Sunday morning Afghanistan time, a
Navy F-14 Tomcat dropped two 500-pound
bombs that mistakenly hit a residential area
northwest of Kabul, the Afghan capital, Penta-
gon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke told a news
conference. The intended targets were military
vehicles parked about one-half mile away. She
said she did not know how many people may
have been hurt or killed.
In the second instance late Sunday after-

noon, a Navy F/A-18 Hornet dropped a 1,000-
pound bomb in an open field near a senior citi-
zens home outside the western city of Herat,
Clarke said. The intended target was a vehicle
storage building at an army barracks approxi-
mately 300 feet from the facility. Preliminary
indications are that the weapon's guidance sys-
tem malfunctioned, she said.
Clarke said she was not certain whether
the second incident corresponded to one
reported by the United Nations, which said
U.S. bombs hit a military hospital near
Herat. The Taliban had said a strike Monday
hit a Herat hospital and killed at least 100
people. U.N. spokeswoman Stephanie
Bunker said it was not clear whether the mil-
itary hospital was in use and she had no
information on casualties.

"As we always say, we regret any loss of
civilian life," she said. "U.S. forces are inten-
tionally striking only military and terrorist tar-
gets. We take great care in our targeting
process to avoid civilian casualties."
The Pentagon also disclosed new details
about a mishap during Saturday's commando
raids into Afghanistan, in which an airfield was
seized and documents taken from a Taliban
compound that included a residence of Taliban
leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.
An Army MH-47 special operations heli-
copter struck an unknown barrier while it was
taking off from Afghanistan after the raid,
shearing off its front landing gear, Clarke said.
It continued the flight without incident and
returned safely to an undisclosed base. No one
aboard was injured, she said.

Taliban fires rockets into crowded
.bazaar,.killing 2 Afghan merchants
Los Angeles TimesM-

CHARIKAR, Afghanistan - Unbowed by lim-
ited U.S. airstrikes, Taliban troops fired rockets
from their mountain hide-outs into the middle of a
crowded noontime bazaar here yesterday, killing a.
poor, legless tea seller and a prosperous shopkeep-
The Afghan men died as the airstrikes set off
new clashes between the opposition Northern
Alliance and the Taliban regime, which is still a
powerful enemy after more than two weeks of
The recent airstrikes on the front line north of
Kabul, the Afghan capital, are often described as
intense and relentless outside the country, but to
Afghans hardened by almost 23 years of war, they
are intermittent pinpricks. Bombing raids that
began along the front line closest to Kabul on
Sunday usually last less than an hour and have
occurred only twice a day, at most. That leaves the
Taliban troops plenty of time to regroup and take
out their revenge on Afghan civilians, said Bari
Yali, a shop owner who survived the attack on
"As long as the Taliban are in these mountains,
they will continue to attack us," Yali, 30, said as
he stood next to a small crater that a rocket had
dug in a narrow dirt alley. "They attacked
Charikar because the Americans bombed them. If
the American planes don't bomb constantly, the
*Taliban will only fire at us more and more."
Two U.S. warplanes returned around 3 p.m. yes-
terday to strike the Taliban front line, but after a
few bombing runs, they were gone again, and
there was no letup in the sporadic firing across the
front line.
One of the jets fired off flares from the rear to
confuse any heat-seeking missiles that the Taliban
might fire. Opposition soldiers watching the

Relatives mourn over the body of Mohamed Rasul, 55, who was killed by a rocket launched by the Taliban
which hit a market in Charikar, northern Afghanistan, 30 km (19 miles) north of the capita Kabul yesterday.


attacks from the village of Sinjit Dara, near the
Bagram air base, said the Taliban still has surface-
to-air missiles in the area.
When warplanes came back around 6:40 p.m.,
they circled for several minutes, and as Taliban
antiaircraft guns opened up, the jets left without
counterattacking. They returned several times

peller-driven spotter plane to search for targets.
But the jets didn't drop any bombs.
Northern Alliance soldiers confirmed that at
least two of the bombs dropped by U.S. F-18
fighter jets Monday afternoon fell in its territory,
not the Taliban's. Although no one was injured,
several Northern Alliance troops were almost hit,

Pre- usness?...

before midnight, with what sounded like a pro- soldiers said in interviews.


Continued from Page 1
learned, but need to be learning, from
these tragic stories so they won't be
repeated again and again?" she asked.
Shepard has been speaking to
groups for more than two years. Her
speeches have a slightly different
focus following the Sept. 11 attacks
because she lived in Saudi Arabia
and still has many friends living in
the Middle East.
"It breaks my heart when I read
about the hatred connected with the
Arab commynity today," she said.
"But we must remember it is an
anomaly. It does not explain the cul-
ture, the country, the people or the
Shepard urged gays and lesbians

to be open with their friends, family
and co-workers about their sexuality,
because homosexuality "must
become a non-issue." She also asked
people to become politically
involved because individual votes
make an impact.
"I don't talk about the election of
2000 anymore because it makes me
just *a'little cranky, but it does show
how important one vote can be," she
Lindsay Gotelaene, an Eastern
freshman, said she attended the lec-
ture because she recently wrote a
report about victims of hate crimes.
"I chose to write about Matthew
Shepard," she said. "Her speech was
so powerful because it came from
the perspective of a mother. It was
so personal."

SPEAK-OUT"When I reported
Continued from Page 1
to police. "When I reported my my uncle for
uncle for molesting me, the police
acted like it was my fault," another mole ting e, the
survivor named Stacey said. police alike i
"When I was in court, the first acted
thing the attorney asked me was
what I was wearing when it hap- was my fault."
pened," she said. - Stacey

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Audience members supported
each of the speakers by providing a
safe place to speak.
"I came tonight to support a friend
and I think it is great for people to be
able to support themselves. This is all
part of the healing process," said
Engineering senior Scott Austin.
The message of the evening for
survivors and supporters alike was

Rape survivor
"Even though it is difficult to talk
about sexual assault, this is a
tremendous and empowering experi-
ence for everyone. The whole event
is about social change," Rinaldi

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Continued from Page 1
Mujahedeen. Citing sources inside the organization,
the BBC said the bomb killed 22 members of the
group which is linked to Osama bin Laden's al-
Qaida terrorist ring.
President Bush initiated the air campaign Oct. 7
after the Taliban repeatedly refused to surrender bin
Laden, chief suspect in last month's terror attacks in
the United States.
British Secretary of Defense Geoff Hoon said yes-
terday that the military strikes on Afghanistan have
destroyed nine of bin Laden's terrorist training
camps and severely damaged nine airfields and 24
military garrisons.
In recent days,'U.S. forces increasingly have shift-
ed the brunt of their attacks to Taliban positions on
front lines outside Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, hoping
to break Taliban defenses around the key cities. Yes-

terday, U.S. jets streaked in high over the front line at
Kabul, then swooped in to drop their bombs while as
villagers gawked and pointed.
"There it is," residents of the opposition-held com-
munity cried each time a white speck appeared in the
sky. Nine blasts sounded, one after the other. Wit-
nesses said at least five of those strikes hit the Tal-
iban front line.
"God willing, these bombs will let us move into
Kabul," declared one opposition fighter, Saeed
Some of the bombs struck the village of
Uzbashi, an al-Qaida encampment near Bagram,
opposition spokesman Waisuddin Salik said. Arab
fighters of bin Laden's network are believed to
make up the core of Taliban forces at the front
north of the capital.
The bombing, however, seemed only to make
the Taliban forces more aggressive. As U.S. jets
thundered overhead, Taliban gunners opened up

with mortars, rockets and artillery on alliance
One Taliban rocket slammed into the public mar-
ket at Charikar, 30 miles north of Kabul, killing two
people - including a 60-year-old vegetable vendor
- and injuring 14 others.
"We want the war to be finished, and an end to the
rockets of the Taliban," said Mohammad Nabi,
whose son was lightly injured. "Let America bomb
Opposition commanders said the Taliban had
reinforced their positions and moved them closer
to alliance lines in hopes of making it more diffi-
cult for U.S. pilots to tell which are the right tar-
gets. On Monday, one bomb fell behind alliance
lines but there were no reports of casualties.
In the nearby village of Qalai Dasht, Taliban
and northern alliance fighters face off against one
another from roofs of mud huts barely 50 yards
ng antibi- pitalized in the Trenton area and was
presumed to be suffering from the
ment mail inhalation form of the disease. "She's
n trailers, holding her own," said Dr. Eddy Bres-
ted before nitz, the state epidemiologist.
nior postal The woman, whose name was not
king only released, works at a Trenton-area postal
facility believed to have processed at
'or Antho- least three anthrax-laced letters - one
aboratory to Daschle, the second to NBC News
anthrax as anchorman Tom Brokaw and the third
men who to the New York Post.
3rentwood Still later, officials in Montgomery
s said two County, Md., said they were checking
ispitalized three postal workers from Brentwood
nthrax was for possible anthrax symptoms at a
our cases. local hospital. And state officials in

Continued from Page 1
predicted that the economy will
improve in the near future.
"We're forecasting that things will
pick up in the first quarter of 2002," he
Other measures that legislators are
looking at to deal with the crisis, other
than unilateral action by Engler,
include a temporary pause in the
phase-out of the single business tax
and the income tax. The state income
tax, currently at 4.2 percent, is sched-
uled to drop to 4.1 percent on Jan. 1,
2002. The single business tax, current-

Continued from Page 1
path of anthrax-contaminated letters.
Koplan, appearing before a separate
panel, said, "the public health system
of the United States is severely chal-
lenged at this moment."
The latest evidence of that was in the
Washington area and New Jersey, at
postal facilities known to have
processed one or more anthrax-tainted
letters in the past few weeks. Both were
closed after the presence of anthrax
was detected.
A government official said about
half of 30 swabs taken at Brentwood in

were undoing tests and taki
Large amounts of govern
were being quarantined it
waiting to be decontaminat
delivery in Washington, a sei
official said yesterday, spea
on condition of anonymity.
District of Columbia May
ny Williams said final la
results confirmed inhalation;
the cause of death of two
worked at the city's iain B
postal facility. Other official
more employees remain ho
with the disease, and said an
suspected in an additional f

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