Al-Qaida Video Purports To Show Attacks

CAIRO, Egypt -- An alleged al-Qaida videotape broadcast Monday on Arab television purported to show roadside bomb attacks on U.S. and Afghan forces in a violent Afghan region bordering Pakistan.


The video showed a militant preparing a mine for an attack. Sitting next to him on a bench was a boy who appeared to be about 5 years old, holding a pistol, with ammunition belts draped over his shoulders and his face covered by a headscarf. The boy sat and watched as the man, also masked, wrapped a mine in transparent tape.

An anchorwoman on Al-Jazeera, which aired the video, said it purported to show bomb attacks by al-Qaida and its Taliban allies against two U.S. military vehicles and an Afghan military vehicle last month in Afghanistan's Konar province, on the eastern border with Pakistan.

The authenticity of the video, which lasted less than two minutes, could not be independently confirmed. Al-Qaida and other Islamic militant groups often post such videos on the Web to show off their attacks, rally supporters and tout their strength. The tape bore the logo of Al-Sahab Media Production House, al-Qaida's video-producing arm.

The tape showed what appeared to be three separate attacks. In each one, a military jeep or truck is seen driving down a mountain road before it is hit by an explosion that flips the vehicle over. The video also showed a helicopter landing: Al-Jazeera said the tape claimed that the aircraft was evacuating casualties. No injured personnel can be seen.

The tape appeared four days after Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a powerful Afghan warlord, declared his support for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network in a video also aired by Al-Jazeera. In recent weeks, bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri each issued separate messages to rally Muslims to fight U.S. and allied forces.
Monday's video comes amid a spike of Taliban-led suicide bombings and ambushes against coalition and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan, and an ongoing U.S.-Afghan anti-militant operation in Kunar province. On May 5, a U.S. military CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in the rugged mountains of Kunar, killing 10 American soldiers, but the military said the crash was not caused by hostile fire.

Von: 9.5.2006

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