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Taleban Promises 'Severe Consequences' for Military Strikes - 2001-10-08

Taleban authorities have vowed to fight the allied coalition now carrying out a second day of air and missile strikes against terrorist-related targets in Afghanistan.

The Taleban Ambassador to Islamabad, Abdul Salaam Zaeef, says the consequences of the military strikes for the United States and Britain will be severe. Ambassador Zaaef made his comments shortly before a second day of attacks began against terrorist-related targets late Monday.

Meeting with reporters to condemn the strikes, Ambassador Zaeef recalled that historically, military action in Afghanistan by outside powers has failed to achieve its goals. The Taleban Ambassador says both the British and Russians came to regret their decision to invade Afghanistan.

U.S. officials say the strikes are being carried out to destroy military targets and training camps used by alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden and members of his al-Qaida group. President Bush says the strikes are an attack against terrorism not the Afghan people.

Shortly before the strikes began, Taleban authorities freed British journalist, Yvonne Ridley. She had been detained for 10 days after entering Afghanistan illegally and it had been feared that the military action would affect the Taleban's decision to release her.

Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf said on Monday he did not believe Taleban forces will remain strong enough to mount a protracted guerrilla war against the allied forces fighting terrorism. General Musharraf also says he has received assurances the military strikes against terrorist-related targets will be short, targeted and aimed at avoiding civilian casualties.