14 Killed in Tora Bora Bombing -
Omar Said To Have Escaped
By Sami Yousafzai
The News - Pakistan
- TORA BORA - The
severe day and night bombardment by the US planes and the offensive
launched by fighters loyal to the ruling Eastern Shura have so far
failed to dislodge foreign nationals, majority of them Arabs, from
the caves and bunkers in Spin Ghar mountainous range. Sources in the
Eastern Shura confirmed that some of their fighters had been killed
during fighting with the Arabs in Tora Bora and the bodies of
soldiers loyal to Jalalabad Corps Commander Haji Zaman and the
police chief Commander Hazrat Ali are still lying in the area.
- Heavy bombing on Tora Bora resumed on Saturday
afternoon and dozens of war planes continued to drop bombs and fire
missiles on the positions of the Arabs till filing of the report.
The details about the killing of Arabs were not immediately
available. However, the locals claimed that six Arab nationals and
eight fighters from the Eastern Shura have been killed so far in the
- "Locals confirm that casualties have been
inflicted on the Eastern Shura. The Arabs are using
surface-to-surface missiles in the fighting," reports said. The
Eastern Shura people are under pressure and the resistance is very
stiff from the Arabs. "Two American military experts were taken
close to the Tora Bora caves by Commander Zaman, but had to flee
after the Arabs opened fire on them," an eyewitness informed.
- The scene of the fleeing Americans and commanders
was filmed by an Afghan employ of the CNN, but Commander Hazrat Ali
snatched the camera from him and detained the journalist for a
while, the sources said. A B-52 plane also dropped bombs close to
positions held by Commander Zaman's fighters, but no reports of
casualties have been received, witnesses said.
- Local people, mostly the Sulimankhel tribesmen
walked down the Tora Bora track to lodge complaint about the severe
bombing in the area, which they claimed had left children with blood
oozing out of their ears and nose. The local tribesmen wanted to
take the journalists to the affected villages in the area, but
Commander Hazrat Ali did not allow the foreign journalists to visit
the area due to security reason.
- Meanwhile, Taliban sources denied arrest of Mulla
Muhammad Omar in Kandahar and said that the Taliban supreme leader
has safely shifted from the city to the nearby mountains along with
hundreds of his diehard supporters. The sources said that a group of
Afghan fighters loyal to chairman of the new set-up of Hamid Karzai
tried to stop a Taliban convoy proceeding outside Kandahar on Friday
evening, but did not succeed in their plans. It is believed that
Mulla Muhammad Omar was part of the convoy, which made its way out
of Kandahar after a fierce fight for seven hours with the opponents.
No independent confirmation of the report is available.
- The News International, Pakistan