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Violence Flares Against US Embassy in Kabul

by Selwyn Manning

Thousands of angry Afghans have set ablaze the deserted United States embassy in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. The violence followed a demonstration damning iminent military action in the wake of terrorist attacks on the United States on September 12 [New Zealand time].

Two Taliban fighters were reported to have climbed on to the embassy and used a hammer and an iron rod to rip off the United States seal from over the main door.

All US diplomats left the embassy prior to the Soviet Union withdrawl from Afghanistan in 1989. The United States has maintained a skeleton local staff but has no diplomatic ties with the Taliban regime.

Protesters shouted: "Death to Bush," as tens of thousands of government officials and students marched through Kabul, news agencies report.

Reuters accounts report protesters chanting: "We will support Islam and bin Laden."

An effigy of President Bush was burnt, a US flag ripped apart, and stones hurled at the gates and offices of the embassy. The building was then set alight.

The violence flared as thousands of Afghanis fled the country, desperately trying to cross the borders of Pakistan and Iran.

The United Nations and NGO aid organisations have been attempting to set up food, medical and shelter stations for those who have managed to cross the border areas. The United Nations today called for Pakistan and Iran to open their borders to refugees. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan are already in camps dotted throughout Pakistan.

Britain warned the Taliban regime today to again consider releasing Osama bin Laden, who is the prime suspect behind the September 12 terrorist attacks on the United States.

And inside the United States, Attorney General Ashcroft warned of possible terrorist strikes, this time from ground-zero, from terrorists armed with hazardous chemicle drivers licences.

And in New Zealand, attention was raised today to possible Afghani terrorist-cells that may have been set up in recent years. The most notible news centered on a New Zealand Herald year 2000 investigation that revealed alleged bin Laden plans to stike last year's Sydney Olympic Games from a cell operating out of a quiet, isolated New Zealand suburb in Mt Albert, Auckland.

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