A rocket attack aimed at Kabul's international airport showed the Taliban have the ability to target anywhere in Afghanistan, the group said on Friday, warning that the country would become "a burial ground" for Americans.
Despite the four rockets falling well short or wide of their target, Mullah Dadullah Akhund - the Taliban's military commander and a member of its 10-member ruling council - said U.S.-led forces in the country were pinned down in their bases.
He was speaking a day after the Arabic satellite TV channel al Jazeera broadcast a video of Osama bin Laden's Egyptian-born deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, claiming that mujahideen fighters had U.S. forces pinned down in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"The enemy are limited to their capitals," al-Zawahri said in the tape broadcast two days before the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Washington quickly blamed &to=http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/13821_AlQaeda.html' target=_blank>al Qaeda and sent troops to Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban, reports Reuters.
According to CNN He also said mujahedeen fighters in Iraq "turned America's plan upside down." "Americans in both countries are between two fires. If they carry on, they will bleed to death - and if they pull out, they lose everything."
Wearing a white turban and glasses, al-Zawahiri said American forces are hunkered down and afraid to respond to advances of the mujahedeen. There currently are about 16,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan conducting daily patrols in remote mountain villages, mostly in the eastern part of the country. There are nearly 140,000 &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2003/02/07/43093.html' target=_blank>American troops in Iraq.
Turning to Iraq, where US forces are fighting an insurgency against the US-backed government, he said fighters had turned Washington's plans for the oil-rich country upside down.
"In Islamic Iraq, the mujahideen [jihad fighters] have turned America's plan head over heels. The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become just a matter of time," he said. Al-Jazeera, an influential Arabic broadcaster, did not say how it obtained the tape.