BAGRAM, Afghanistan: US fighter jets on Monday mistakenly fired on Afghan
opposition posts during their third raid on Taliban frontlines north of Kabul,
Four photographers were in an opposition post when two F-16s screamed overhead.
They said that they saw at least two bombs land near opposition posts and another bomb hit a Taliban-controlled area near Qalai Nasru, west of Bagram airbase and situated some 45 km north of Kabul.
The opposition soldiers accompanying the photographers fled their positions after the strikes. "They asked us if we had a telephone to call the Americans and tell them they were making a mistake," said Ron Haviv, a US national working for the Paris-based Agency VII.
The other photographers who witnessed the strike close up were Peter Blakely, a US national working for the Saba agency, Tyler Hicks, a US national with the New York Times and Moises Saman, a Spanish national working for Newsday.
They said that they were around 75 metres from where one of the bombs hit a Northern Alliance-controlled area.
A local commander, Sayed Mir Shah, said "maybe they have made a mistake," adding "we received two bombs on our side, the others were on the Taliban (side)." He said that there were no casualties among the opposition troops.
Two jets circled several times over the frontlines, and were seen dropping at least three bombs at around 4:20 pm (11:50 GMT), as Taliban fighters responded with anti-aircraft fire.
The bombs struck Taliban positions near a main junction situated on one of the two parallel roads that lead north of Kabul.
Residents here in opposition controlled areas stopped to stare into the air and watch the jets, as Taliban gunners responded with anti-aircraft fire.
The first attack on the Taliban's frontline positions defending the Afghan capital was late on October 16 and in the early hours of October 17. The second raid was on Sunday.
The Taliban have concentrated thousands of troops north of Kabul, and witnesses have reported seeing convoys of additional militiamen travelling to the lines to evade US-led strikes on Kabul.
General Baba Jan, opposition commander at the Bagram airbase, said that the strikes had yet to have any major effect on the Taliban line.
"America thinks that a few days of bombing will defeat the Taliban. We have been fighting for 23 years and we have yet to bring peace to Afghanistan," he said.
Around the same time as the first strikes on the Taliban's frontline on Monday, a single plane flew over Kabul but dropped no bombs and the Taliban guns on the ground also remained quiet, witnesses said.
Another plane was heard overhead around 6:00 pm and this time the militia opened fire with anti-aircraft guns but there was no sound of bombing.
The unidentified planes were the only scares reported on an otherwise quiet day for the war weary residents of the Afghan capital.
There have been almost daily raids and sightings of US planes or helicopters in and around Kabul since US-led forces started air strikes against the Taliban on October 7. ( AFP )
Jet AS hentam kubu anti-Taliban
Bagram, Afghanistan: Pejuang jet AS pada Isnin lalu telah tersilap mengbom kubu puak anti-Taliban di bahagian utara Kabul.
Empat orang juru gambar berada di kubu pihak anti-Taliban ketika pesawat F-16 tiba di ruang angkasa di atas kepala. Mereka berkata sekurang-kurangnya dua buah bom jatuh di kubu berdekatan dan sebuah lagi jatuh di kawasan yang dikuasai oleh Taliban berdekatan Qalai Nasru, di bahagian barat landasan terbang Bagram kira-kira 45 km daripada Kabul.
Askar Afghan yang mengiringi juru gambar itu lari bertempiaran. “Mereka meminta sama ada kami membawa telefon kerana mahu menelefon pihak Amerika menyatakan kesilapan itu,” demikian kata Ron Haviv, seorang rakyat Amerika yang bertugas dengan syarikat Agensi VII yang berpusat di Paris.
Beberapa juru gambar lain yang menyaksikan kesilapan AS itu menyatakan mereka berada hanya 75 meter daripada tempat bom itu digugurkan.
Pihak Taliban telah menghantar ribuan askarnya di utara Kabul dan para saksi telah melaporkan betapa mereka melihat beberapa konvoi askar tambahan yang tiba sambil mengelakkan dikesan oleh AS.
Jeneral Baba Jan, komander pasukan anti-Taliban di Bagram menyatakan bahawa serangan udara itu belum lagi menjejaskan benteng pertahanan Taliban.
“Amerika fikir dengan mengbom beberapa hari, mereka boleh kalahkan Taliban. Kami telah berperang selama 23 tahun dan masih belum mencapai keamanan di Afghanistan,”katanya.
Pada awal pagi Isnin itu sebuah pesawat telah muncul di udara Kabul tanpa menggugurkan sebarang bom. Taliban pun tidak menembak pesawat itu. Tetapi pada 6.00 p.m. tetapi Taliban menembaknya walaupun pesawat tidak menggugurkan bomnya.
Pesawat yang tidak dikenali itu merupakan ancaman yang muncul di ibu negara Afghanistan pada hari itu. Kalau tidak, ada sahaja serangan udara daripada jet pejuang ataupun helikopter Amerika itu sejak Oktober 7.