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图片新闻【24】Odyssey on the barrage-opening night

2010-06-27 23:30:34 来源:世博英语

By MARCUS WARREN (Filed: 08/10/2001)

A SPECTACULAR sound and light show of one huge flash and then a series of dull booms echoing across the plains marked the start of the American bombardment for those watching north of Kabul last night.


This is not the usual hour for missile and air strikes. Instead of waiting for the dead of night, the Pentagon launched its raid only two hours after sunset.


Then it seemed to be all over almost as soon as it began. The darkness returned to the no-man's land contested by the Taliban and opposition forces north of the capital.


The Afghan night is blacker than most. There is no electricity across most of the country and as we headed south towards the front line there was not even the dim glow of paraffin lamps to light up the villages and towns we passed through.


The only living thing to be seen were stray dogs. Not a person emerged from the darkness until we were given our guide to escort us into the mountains.


We had taken this road once before, a track seemingly with a grudge against vehicles of any sort. That was under the baking sun of midday.


Now we were heading up to the anti-Taliban forces' prime observation post north of the capital - in the pitch dark.

此时我们正向位于首都北部的反塔武装力量的主要观察站挺进 – 在这伸手不见五指的黑暗中。

On our first trip we were told to leave a gap between our cars of at least 10 yards for fear of Taliban fire from the top of the mountains. But last night a whole convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and pick-up trucks was negotiating the climb with dimmed headlights.


As we arrived at the edge of the village, a blood curdling yell from a sentry rang out. The driver slammed on the brakes. From there it was a short stroll up through an orchard into the village and our vantage point for the evening show ahead.


Closer to midnight local time the only action to be seen or heard from the mountains 20 miles north of Kabul was the anti-Taliban United Front's rocketing of enemy positions in the plains below.


The rockets sped towards their targets, landing with an impressive blast and rumble in the distance. In Tobdara, villagers huddled around radios to listen to the news of strikes on cities across the country.


"Thank you for your help in the fight against the Taliban," said Saidar Aghagul, a 45-year-old villager, when he learnt that Britain had also been carrying out raids against his enemy.

“谢谢你们帮助我们与塔利班的战斗。”在得知英国也开展了对塔利班的袭击后,一位45岁的村民Saidar Aghagul说。

Earlier last night, anti-Taliban forces north of Kabul were mobilised and on full alert as the Afghan opposition's chief spokesman predicted that American air strikes would start "not soon, but very soon".


Air movements in the north of the country were halted, work on a reserve airfield near the Panjshir valley was in full swing and military commanders were on the move in pick-up trucks, raising huge clouds of dust in the gloom of early evening.


United Front positions facing the Taliban 20 miles from the capital were also reinforced yesterday morning by lorries crammed full with mujahideen fighters heading for the front.


"You will be able to see it," Abdullah Abdullah, the anti-Taliban Afghanistan's foreign minister and main spokesman, told journalists of the American bombardment to come. "I am not saying soon, very soon."

“你们将会看到行动开始,”反塔联盟的外交部长兼主要发言人Abdullah Abdullah告诉新闻记者美国的空袭就要开始。“我不是说不久,而是很快。”

Taliban troops on the Shamali plains between the Hindu Kush and Kabul would certainly be targeted by rocketing and aerial bombardment, Mr Abdullah forecast.



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