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Attacks Hit Afghan Targets; Humanitarian Mission Continues

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2001 – As military strikes continue against the Al Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban in Afghanistan, President Bush made clear that terrorists in other countries also have been targeted.

DoD officials said Air Force and Navy planes hit six military targets in Afghanistan. Aircraft continued to hammer at airfields, surface-to-air missile sites, Al Qaeda forces and communications sites. Officials said five to eight land-based bombers and eight to 10 naval strike aircraft participated in the attacks. No sea-launched cruise missiles were used.

Officials said U.S. aircraft hit Taliban military targets in daylight attacks. The earlier night strikes have suppressed anti-aircraft defenses enough to give the United States air supremacy over Afghanistan, they said.

"I think the president made abundantly plain to the American people and to the world in his speech to the Congress that the United States will take whatever actions are required to defend our nation," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Oct. 10. "He did not indicate whether that would be limited.

"We are in a phase right now that involves the Taliban, that involves Afghanistan and the terrorists who are being harbored there," he said. "I'm not going to go beyond that and give any indications whatsoever about any possible additional operations, whether they exist or don't."

Earlier in the day, President Bush unveiled a new 22 Most Wanted Terrorists List at FBI headquarters in Washington. While Osama bin Laden heads the list, it also contains the names and photos of suspected terrorists working out of such countries as Lebanon and the Philippines.

Two Air Force C-17s continued dropping humanitarian daily rations to Afghan refugees in the northeast of the country, near the border town of Shebergan. A Taliban representative said Afghans are gathering the rations and burning them. Defense Department officials said they have no reports of that.

"Frankly, I don't think the Taliban are organized enough to do something like that," one DoD official said.

White House spokesman Fleischer said he thought it said a lot about the Taliban regime that "one of the first actions they took since the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was to shut down all the humanitarian relief organizations that feed their own people.

"And that is another reminder of why this is not a war against the people of Afghanistan. And you're hearing reports now -- I've seen several on the news -- that there are many refugees who are saying they're looking forward to returning to Afghanistan, and they know that they're going to be fed when they do, because they understand the motives of our country are to help the people of Afghanistan."

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