Afghanistan: Bin Laden Safe

Afghanistan's Taleban Islamic movement said U.S. jets had bombed Khost and Jalalabad areas in the east of the country on Thursday night, but anti-American Saudi Arabian exile Osama bin Laden was safe.

A Taleban spokesman, Abdul Hai Mutmaen, told Reuters by telephone from the southern Afghan town of Kandahar that the jets did not appear to have hit their targets.

In Sudan's first reaction to U.S. strikes, state-run Sudan Television announced Thursday that American warplanes had struck "strategic targets" in the country.

The television, monitored in Egypt, broke into its regular programming to make the announcement. In the United States, President Clinton had described the attacks as retaliation for the bombings of American embassies in East Africa.

CBS News Correspondent Vicki Mabrey says residents in Kartoum said they heard explosions after two military jets flew over the capital.

Witnesses said they saw what looked like three or four explosions light up the sky in the north of Khartoum. A policeman on the street said there were explosions in an industrial area north of the capital.

Sudan Television said that Sudan was "subjected to an aerial strike by American warplanes that aimed at strategic targets."

It did not say what the targets where, but said the Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Factory in the Sudanese capital Khartoum had been hit.

Sudan's Interior Minister Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hussein told CNN that two American planes dropped about five bombs in three or four attacks on a privately owned factory in an industrial area of north Khartoum.

Rahim angrily denied that the target was a chemical weapons plants, calling it "a factory for medical drugs."

"We have no chemical weapons factory in our country," he told CNN. "We have no chemical weapons factories at all."

Defense Secretary William Cohen had said in Washington that the factory had been targeted as a suspected chemical weapons site.

The announcer gave no indication of how extensive the damage to the pharmaceutical factory was or whether there were casualties.

The announcer ended the broadcast by saying "Allah Akbar," the rallying cry of Muslims meaning "God is Great" and added: "We will defend our country."

Ali Adam, a security guard at the U.N. office in Khartoum, said the streets were quiet in the capital.

No sirens and no ambulances were heard near the office, he said.

"Up to now, I didn't hear anything," he said by telephone from Khartoum. "Up to now there is nothing."
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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