INDEPENDENT NEWS

Arafat Condems Terrorist Attack on USA

Published: Wed 12 Sep 2001 04:14 AM
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat condemned the aircraft attacks, shortly after an anonymous caller told Abu Dhabi television that a radical Palestinian group was responsible for the attacks. The group later denied any involvement.
"I send my condolences, the condolences of the Palestinian people to American President Bush and his government and to the American people for this terrible act," Arafat told reporters in Gaza. "We completely condemn this serious operation...We were completely shocked. It's unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable."
The USA came under terrorist attack early this morning with aircraft crashing into each of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan New York soon after 9am USEST.
The Pentagon has also has also been hit. BBC reports that the Pentagon has a staff on 20,000 people.
All airline travel within the United States whas been suspended, with flights coming in to New York being diverted to Canada.
US President George W Bush has called for the "full resources of the federal government" to hunt down those responsible for the terrorist attacks.
Smoke and fire is pouring from the World Trade Centre towers,and by 10:27 a.m. USEST both towers have collapsed.
CNN television is reporting eye witness accounts that the first plane seemed to slow and deliberately line up before crashing into the north tower.
The New York Times reports a witness saying that as he came to work on 46th Street just before 9 he saw an American Airlines Boeing 767 flying "very low in the direction of the World Trade Center towers."
He said he did not see the impact, but later reports said one of the planes that crashed into the towers was an American Airlines plane that had been hijacked on a flight from Boston, the New York Times reports.
Whitehouse officials have issued a statements saying F.B.I. is investigating reports of the hijacking before the crashes.
Meanwhile debris has rained down over the streets of New York's busiest work areas. The New York Times reports: "When the second plane hit, a fireball of flame and smoke erupted, leaving a huge hole in the glass and steel tower." The terrorist attack is obviously timed to happen during New York's peak traffic hours.
All United States airports have been shut down, and New York City's subway lines have been closed. Trading on Wall Street has been suspended and businesses have been ordered to evacuate personnel.
Meanwhile:
* World Trade Centers collapse after planes hit,
* 10,000 emergency workers head to scene Plane hits Pentagon,
* Part of the Pentagon collapses
* NTSB says United plane goes down near Pittsburgh
* Bush calls trade center crashes terrorist act Federal buildings,
* United Nations evacuated
* FAA grounds all U.S. flights, sends trans-Atlantic flights to Canada Israel evacuates embassies.
Selwyn Manning - Scoop Auckland
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