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[] LT 14.11.01: Bomb destroys al-Jazeera's office in Kabul,

Bomb destroys al-Jazeera's office in Kabul

THE Kabul office of al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite station that has
broadcast two videotapes of Osama bin Laden denouncing
America, was obliterated in US bombing early yesterday morning,
according to the network?s managing director. 

Speaking to The Times in his Qatar office, the channel?s
headquarters, Mohammed Jasem al-Ali said that one American
bomb fell 20 yards from the office at 3am yesterday, destroying
the building. No one was inside when the bomb hit. 

?The office sits in a residential area. We cannot say for sure that it
was deliberately targeted, but the Americans know exactly where
the office is. I can see no other reason why a bomb would land in
that section of Kabul,? Mr al-Ali said. 

Half an hour earlier, another American bomb badly damaged a
house used by the BBC just a block away in the same district,
striking while William Reeve, a reporter, was broadcasting. Mr
Reeve dived to the floor in mid-sentence and the BBC team left
the building shortly afterwards, crossing the city to the safety of an

A rocket fired from an American jet also hit a pickup truck, killing
four Arabs, according to Afghan workers of the International
Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul. The charred bodies of the
four men were taken by the Red Cross. 

Al-Jazeera, which has contractual relations with the American
broadcaster CNN, was forced yesterday to broadcast footage of
events in Kabul obtained from the American cable network. The
channel, which broadcast on October 7 and November 3
speeches by bin Laden urging the Muslim world to rise up against
non-believers, was criticised by the Americans early in the
bombing campaign for being a mouthpiece for al-Qaeda. 

Al-Jazeera reaches more than 35 million Arabs. The station?s one
reporter in Kabul, Tayseer Allouni, fled yesterday. Mr Allouni, a
Syrian, had been told by the Northern Alliance that if they
captured him he would be killed. 

The Taleban Ministry for the Suppression of Vice and the
Promotion of Virtue was across the street from al-Jazeera.

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