U.S. warplanes carried out heavy strikes against targets near the southern Afghan city, Kandahar, Wednesday. Taleban authorities say eight people were injured in the raids when a bomb fell near the center of the city. The report cannot be independently confirmed.
U.N. officials say their special envoy for Afghanistan will not meet with Taleban officials during his visit to Pakistan this week.
Witnesses say the air raids on Kandahar were targeted against Taleban military sites and suspected al-Qaida bases in and around the city. Heavy bombing raids are also reported against Taleban frontline positions north of Kabul. Other raids are reported Wednesday against Taleban positions near the northern city, Mazar-e-Sharif.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the United Nations office in Pakistan says U.N. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi will not have time to meet with Taleban officials during his visit to Islamabad.
The Taleban Ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salaam Zaeef, had requested a meeting with Mr. Brahimi during his fact-finding mission. Mr. Brahimi has met with Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf and is holding discussions with a variety of key Afghan exile figures during his visit. Aziz Khan, a spokesman for the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, said the discussions are part of the process aimed at developing a future, broad-based government for Afghanistan.
"All this augers well for the peace process and we hope this will give impetus to a peace process so that Afghans can find a political dispensation which can insure durable peace inside Afghanistan," he said.
The Peshawar-based Afghan Islamic Press quotes Taleban sources as saying U.S. military authorities have electronically seized Taleban radio frequencies near Taleban headquarters in Kandahar and have begun broadcasting a variety of messages and music.
Meanwhile, U.N. refugee officials are warning that conditions are getting worse in a refugee camp inside Afghanistan run by the Taleban. The U.N. representatives describe conditions at the Spin Boldak Camp, near the Chaman border post in southwestern Pakistan, as rapidly deteriorating.