WAR ON TERROR: BLAIR'S PROMISE: We will hunt down the terrorists. There are fewer places to hide, fewer people to help them; BLAIR ORDERS BRITISH TROOPS ON RED ALERT.Byline: JAMES HARDY James Hardy may refer to:
TONY Blair Noun 1. Tony Blair - British statesman who became prime minister in 1997 (born in 1953)
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, Blair last night vowed to crush the Taliban and warned Osama bin Laden Osama bin Laden: see bin Laden, Osama. and his henchmen they were running out of places to hide.
The PM insisted the Allied coalition would continue to hunt the terrorists "for as long as it takes" to find them.
And he called on the people of southern Afghanistan rise up against the crumbling Taliban as they flee to their strongholds from the advancing Northern Alliance.
In a statement to the Commons Mr Blair told MPs the fanatic Islamic group Noun 1. Islamic Group - a clandestine group of southeast Asian terrorists organized in 1993 and trained by al-Qaeda; supports militant Muslims in Indonesia and the Philippines and has cells in Singapore and Malaysia and Indonesia was in "total collapse" and now was the time to drive them out.
He said bin Laden and his cronies were "guilty" of terrorists atrocities and added: "They will face justice and today they have far fewer places to hide and far fewer people who wish to protect him."
The PM also went on Afghan radio to urge hard-up tribesmen to cash in on a $25million reward to nail bin Laden who is thought to have fled south after Kabul fell.
Speaking on the BBC World
BBC World is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel. It has the biggest audience of any BBC channel. Service's Pashtun-speaking channel - picked up by millions in southern Afghanistan - Mr Blair said he hoped the FBI bounty would tempt tempt
v. tempt·ed, tempt·ing, tempts
1. To try to get (someone) to do wrong, especially by a promise of reward.
2. Afghan defectors to betray the warlord's whereabouts.
He said: "It is important to realise we want Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network.
"There are people in Afghanistan who could help us against the Taliban and throw off their oppressive rule.
"If people want to gain stability for Afghanistan, it's important this terrorist network is shut down.
"He and his people have abused Afghanistan over the past few years. He has made Afghanistan a haven for terrorist networks, exporting terror around the world, deeply reliant on the drugs trade.
"Many Afghan people will be glad to get rid of him." In the Commons he added: "It is clear support for the Taliban is evaporating.
"Though there may be pockets of resistance, the idea that this has been some sort of tactical retreat is just the latest Taliban lie. They are in total collapse.
"The advance of anti-Taliban forces has been assisted by defections from disillusioned dis·il·lu·sion
tr.v. dis·il·lu·sioned, dis·il·lu·sion·ing, dis·il·lu·sions
To free or deprive of illusion.
1. The act of disenchanting.
2. The condition or fact of being disenchanted. supporters. It is time for the rest of Afghanistan, particularly ethnic groups in the south, to join the uprising."
But he urged Northern Alliance troops to halt the atrocities which have marred their drive south.
Mr Blair said: "Regrettable incidents have happened as the liberated people have turned on their oppressors.
"I appeal to the Northern Alliance and all other forces to be restrained, to avoid acts of revenge and to engage with the UN.
"I believe the whole House should welcome the progress made. Though conflict is never easy or pleasant, to see women and children smiling after years under one of the most brutal, oppressive regimes in the world is finally to understand the meaning of the word liberation."
During his radio broadcast to the Afghan people, Mr Blair admitted the West had abandoned them after the Russian occupation of the country.
But he vowed that would not happen again and pledged to help with the long-term reconstruction of the nation.
He said: "Afghanistan is a country with a great potential for the future.
"It's people have suffered miserably over many, many years, quite unjustifiably.
"We in the West have not paid enough attention to the suffering of the people in Afghanistan or done enough to alleviate that suffering.
"I can say to the Afghanistan people, we are not going to walk away and leave you with the kind of instability that was there before.
"We are not going to do what we did at the end of the 80s and early 90s, when we did walk away after the Russians had left Afghanistan, leaving it to fend for Verb 1. fend for - argue or speak in defense of; "She supported the motion to strike"
argue, reason - present reasons and arguments itself.
"The result was years of oppression, poverty and difficulty. We are not going to do that this time."
Mr Blair said his first priority was to establish a "broad-based regime" in Afghanistan.
He promised Britain would be joined by the rest of Europe, the US, Japan and others in helping to shape the future of the land.
The PM added: "We will help in that process of reconstruction so that people can look forward to a future where they can earn a living producing goods and farming, not the drugs trade, not terrorism.
"And where the standard of living and prosperity can rise and where people are treated equally whatever their background, men or women."
Meanwhile, the Government yesterday released an updated version of its dossier of evidence against bin Laden over the September 11 attacks September 11 attacks
Series of airline hijackings and suicide bombings against U.S. targets perpetrated by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda. .
It claimed intelligence sources had confirmed "a majority" of the 19 hijackers had now been shown to have links with al-Qaeda.
The document also said a senior associate of bin Laden had boasted of training some of the hijackers.
On the humanitarian front, Mr Blair said 2,000 tons of food a day was now getting into Afghanistan - four times more than at the beginning of last month.
Britain is to send a diplomatic mission Noun 1. diplomatic mission - a mission serving diplomatic ends
delegation, deputation, delegacy, commission, mission - a group of representatives or delegates
foreign mission, legation - a permanent diplomatic mission headed by a minister to Kabul by the weekend.
They will work alongside the UN to help establish a new government in Afghanistan representing all its different ethnic groups.
Senior diplomat Stephen Evans, head of the South Asia This article is about the geopolitical region in Asia. For geophysical treatments, see Indian subcontinent.
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia section and Afghan emergency unit at the Foreign Office, will be the UK's representative in Kabul.
He is the first British diplomat to serve there since 1989.
TONY Blair yesterday revealed British troops could be ordered into frontline combat Frontline Combat was a bi-monthly war comic edited by Harvey Kurtzman for the Bill Gaines' line of EC Comics. The first issue was cover-dated July/August, 1951. Over a three-year span, the title ran for 15 issues, ending with the January, 1954 issue due to a drop in sales after in Afghanistan as he put four thousand soldiers on 48-hour stand-by.
But there was confusion over their role after defence chiefs appeared to rule out any "offensive action".
From this weekend, several thousand paratroopers and Royal Marine commandos will be ready to head to Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif sha·rif
Variant of sherif. as the Taliban collapse accelerates. In an emergency statement to MPs, Mr Blair said: "We can not, of course, rule out some of our troops being used in offensive frontline front·line also front line
1. A front or boundary, especially one between military, political, or ideological positions.
2. Basketball See frontcourt.
3. Football The linemen of a team. operations.
"Several thousand of our troops are being put on 48-hour notice to move. I cannot give full details on how these troops may be used."
But defence sources suggested they would be used in a peacekeeping capacity and not in the frontline.
They described the imminent deployment of troops as a "stabilising" mission, protecting aid convoys Aid Convoy is a British charitable organisation running and supporting various humanitarian aid projects, mostly in Eastern Europe. Its aims are achieved primarily by means of running convoys. Projects
Aid Convoy's current projects focus on Albania and Ukraine. , mine clearance The process of removing all mines from a route or area. and paving the way for UN peacekeepers. Speaking from Uzbekistan yesterday, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon hoon Austral & NZ slang
a loutish youth who drives irresponsibly
to drive irresponsibly said: "We have reduced the notice to move of key elements of the United Kingdom's joint rapid reaction force - they are ready to go.
"The idea really is literally to prepare the ground for a future peacekeeping force peacekeeping force n → fuerza de pacificación
peacekeeping force n → forces fpl qui assurent le maintien de la paix
, to make sure that such a force can operate successfully in Afghanistan."
But an MoD source added: "The dreaded word 'mission creep' is something we are very careful we ensure we don't get into."
ON THE RUN: Defeated Taliban soldiers cross the Afghanistan border into Pakistan yesterday after fleeing Kandahar; VOW: Tony Blair warned the Taliban that their days are numbered