The Afghan capital of Kabul and the town of Kandahar were exposed to the most powerful American air strikes last night. At least seven powerful explosions were registered in Kabul. Four of them went off west of the city during the bombing of the airport. Cruise missile strikes at Kandahar, which is considered a "spiritual" capital of the Taliban movement, lasted for two hours. Their targets were the airport, barracks, fuel stores, warehouses and storage sites of heavy armaments, including tanks. Telephone communications lines linking Kandahar with the rest of the world were also destroyed. On Wednesday, the US Defence Ministry made a decision to start using super heavy bombs weighing up to 2.5 tons for destroying the Taliban underground bunkers. Other sources report that the Americans are also planning to use canister-effect bombs for destroying moving targets, such as armoured vehicles and columns of troops. The United States has lifted a reinforcement of 2,000-3,000 marines, as well as equipment, armaments and hardware to the region for the second stage of the operation. The Americans start establishing support bases for commandos, some of them will be located in Afghanistan. Within the next 24 hours, the USS Kitty Hawk is expected to arrive at its destination in the region. The carrier will be used as an auxiliary floating support base for covert operations. At the same time, the Northern Alliance, on the offensive against the Taliban positions, have been advancing towards Herat over the past 24 hours. Their representatives claim that their troops managed to seize Chakhcharan - a key town in Western Afghanistan. But a large-scale offence on Kabul has been postponed.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969