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Archive for Sunday, October 7, 2001

Northern Alliance spokesman says U.S. attacks against Afghanistan to start soon

October 7, 2001

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— The anti-Taliban alliance in northern Afghanistan expects the United States to launch attacks against Afghanistan where the ruling Islamic militia is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, an opposition spokesman said.

The attacks "will begin soon," said Abdullah, the spokesman for the Afghan opposition, told reporters at an opposition base north of the Afghan capital, Kabul. He would not be any more specific.

Abdullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name, said the Northern Alliance would begin its own offensive against the Taliban once the U.S. strikes had started.

The Northern Alliance has been coordinating its actions with the United States on a regular basis, Abdullah told reporters last week.

The United States has been building up its forces around Afghanistan and has warned the Taliban to hand over bin Laden or face the consequences.

The Northern Alliance, which has been battling the Taliban for years, hopes the U.S. strikes will help in its struggle against the Islamic militia, which controls the majority of Afghan territory, including Kabul.

Russia and Iran are helping to supply the Northern Alliance with weapons.

The Northern Alliance uses Soviet-era weaponry, and thus Russia is the main supplier of ammunition, spare parts and replacement weaponry.

Jabal-us-Saraj is about 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Kabul.

Abdullah has said the opposition's primary goal is not seizing Kabul, but they would need to take control of the capital if they intended to exercise power.

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