Thursday, October 09, 2003

Taliban army assembling for assault on US forces in Afghanistan: "Up to 2500 fighters are in Baluchistan province preparing to cross the border on motorcycles and attack US and Afghan Government forces, Western and Afghan intelligence officials say.

"The Taliban have virtually taken over several suburbs of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, and are being supported by Pakistani religious parties, the drugs mafia and al-Qaeda. There is also reportedly increasing support from the Pakistani authorities - a claim denied in Islamabad."

"We have the American forces and the puppet regime of [Hamid] Karzai on the run. They will collapse soon" said a Taliban mullah in Pushtunabad bazaar."

"The Taliban have bought hotels, shops and houses, forcing many frightened local residents to leave. Vehicle dealers say the Taliban have bought 1150 motorcycles in the past three months. Motorcycle guerillas roam Afghanistan's rural areas attacking aid agency vehicles and isolated police posts.

"For communications, they import hundreds of satellite telephones from the Arab Gulf states, because those bought in Pakistan are closely monitored by the CIA. Arms and ammunition are dumped inside Afghanistan. Their funding comes from the drugs trade and al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden is still thought to be in hiding along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border."

"The White House is reluctant to speak up about the extent of Pakistani help to the Taliban because of the US's desperate need to enlist Pakistani troops for Iraq."

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