Following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov today, British Secretary of Defense Geoff Hoon told journalists that the main aim of the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan was to bring Osama bin Laden and his cohorts before international justice. The British minister said that the Talibs gave bin Laden shelter and supported him, while also refusing to hand him over to face justice. Hoon said that Britain could not and would not tolerate this any longer and that it was a signal to all the countries of the world. He reported that the strikes launched by the USA and its allies had been carefully selected: they were military targets used by the terrorists. He added that this was only part of a long-term campaign against the support which bin Laden had received from the Taliban regime. The British minister stressed that the USA and its allies highly appraised the practical assistance received from Russia. Geoff Hoon stressed that the allies were grateful for any help and support, especially if this support came from a state bordering on Afghanistan.
According to a source in the Russian Defence Ministry, Russia started deploying elite commando units in eastern Libya. Russian GRU officers, mercenaries and advisors have arrived in Libya