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us warplanes bomb al-jazeera bureau in kabul, all contact lost

November 13, 2001

Summary of Al-Jazeera coverage by Ali Abunimah

US warplanes bombed the offices of the Al-Jazeera satellite channel in the Afghan capital Kabul early on Tuesday morning as the city fell to Northern Alliance forces Al-Jazeera reported today. The channel has lost contact with its correspondent in the city Taysir Allouni and has been unable to determine the extent of the injuries or damage to its staff and offices.

There is no information as to whether the attack was deliberate or not, however on April 23, 1999 US-led NATO forces deliberately bombed the offices of Radio-Television Serbia killing 16 journalists and technical staff, a case that the European Court of Human Rights has just agreed to review. In recent months US officials have alternately criticized Al-Jazeera and demanded to be interviewed on it, and the network has been subjected to a campaign of vilification in the US media, including at least in one case a demand that it be bombed. New York Daily News columnist Zev Chafets wrote on October 14 that "Dealing with Al Jazeera is a job for the military. Shutting it down should be an immediate priority."

In recent days, Al-Jazeera has stood almost alone in reporting extensive civilian casualties from US bombing in several parts of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile Al-Jazeera reported that there are reports of summary executions and round-ups as Northern Alliance forces flood into Kabul. The television, using pictures taken by reporters entering the city with Northern Alliance forces, showed many bodies lying in the streets as a result of what some reports say were summary executions. Taliban forces are said to have withdrawn from the city under cover of night, street fighting may not explain why so many bodies were lying in the street.

On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson expressed concern about reprisals and violence against civilians both by Taliban and Northern Alliance forces as Afghan cities fall to the Northern Alliance


SF Protests Bombing of Al-Jazeera TV Office 16.Nov.2001 17:02

B. Marsh


U.S. government fires missiles at and destroys Al-Jazeera TV, the CNN of the Arab world.
Join Media Alliance, International Action Center, the Middle East Children's Alliance and others to denounce U.S. government
attacks on free speech during its bombing campaign against Afghanistan!
Wednesday, 11/14, 4 PM
Rally at Federal Building in San Francisco
450 Golden Gate Avenue
Just as Northern Alliance forces entered Kabul and rumors began circulating about summary executions and other atrocities being committed by the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance, the one television station that would have been able to document these actions was destroyed by U.S. missiles. Al-Jazeera television of Qatar, the only media outlet which has had journalists in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan since the U.S. bombing campaign began, was hit by U.S. missiles this morning. Al-Jazeera, which was created with help from the BBC and has become known as the CNN of the Arab world, has been subjected to a campaign of vilification in the U.S. media since it reported statements by Osama bin Laden and his associates. U.S. government
officials have alternately criticized Al-Jazeera and demanded to be interviewed on it. Al-Jazeera has stood almost alone among other television networks, especially in recent days, in reporting extensive civilian casualties from U.S. bombing in several parts of Afghanistan. Al-Jazeera's 24-hour news coverage reaches more than 35 million Arabic speaking people, including
150,000 in the United States.

full story at SF Indymedia Center:  http://sf.indymedia.org/2001/11/109442.php