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Witnesses Say Latest Strikes Near Afghan Airports - 2001-10-13

U.S. led forces are carrying out a seventh day of bombing and missile attacks against terrorist and military-related targets in Afghanistan.

After a pause in the attacks Friday during prayer observances, U.S. jets conducted strikes against positions on the outskirts of Kabul and Kandahar Saturday. Witnesses describe air strikes and cruise missile attacks near the airports in both cities.

British officials confirmed they were involved in a supporting role in the strikes and they say there could be a lull in the attacks over the next few days to allow observances for an important Islamic festival commemorating the Prophet Mohammed's journey to heaven. The festival is held Monday.

Pakistani officials also confirm they are providing logistical support to the coalition fighting terrorism. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Riaz Mohammed Khan says that support has strict limits. "Under logistical support there is the question of facilities for some contingency requirements, but here I would like to categorically say that there are no operations which are being initiated from the territory of Pakistan. There are no combat troops which have stationed on the territory of Pakistan."

Mr. Khan says Pakistani facilities will only be used for contingencies such as aircraft emergencies or other rescue operations.

Even that limited operational support is proving controversial in Pakistan. There were scattered protests across the country Friday against the air strikes in Afghanistan and against Pakistan's support for the coalition against terrorism.

Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities in the port city of Karachi have detained a radical supporter of the Taleban, Abdullah Shah Mazar.

And in another development, a spokesman for the Kashmir militant group, Jaish-i-Mohammed has denied U.S. charges that his organization is a terrorist group. The U.S. government ordered the freezing of assets of Jaish-i-Mohammed and 38 other groups saying they are terrorist organizations. Jaish-i-Mohammed first claimed and then later denied responsibility for a suicide bombing last month in Indian administered Kashmir. The attack killed 38 people.