The militants of Osama bin Laden constitute the backbone of Taliban forces opposing the Northern Alliance, reports the Tuesday issue of The News. Masood Anwar of The News, who travelled to Kandahar /the spiritual and military center of the Taliban movement/, quotes locals as saying that Arab supporters of "sheikh Osama" seized power in the country as soon as the USA launched their military operation in Afghanistan. According to Anwar's account, a local eye witness said Arab detachments constitute the backbone of Taliban forces outside Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. Describing the results of the US military action, the News correspondent remarks that the United States apparently get exact and detailed intelligence about Afghanistan, where the majority of buildings and facilities damaged during the airstrikes turned out to have belonged to Taleban or Arabs. In the meantime, the number of casualties among civilians and the military is still unknown -- mostly due to contradictory reports and outright misinformation. Contrary to reports that said a bomb killed 13 people in the Red Cross hospital in Kandahar, locals insist that no one was hurt since the staff and patients left the building before the air raid, writes the newspaper.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18