"After a week of debilitating strikes at targets across Afghanistan, the Taliban repeated an offer to hand over Osama bin Laden, only to be rejected by President Bush.
The offer yesterday from Haji Abdul Kabir, the Taliban's deputy prime minister, to surrender Mr bin Laden if America would halt its bombing and provide evidence against the Saudi-born dissident was not new....
The move came as the Taliban granted foreign journalists unprecedented access to the interior for the first time. The reporters saw clear evidence that many civilians had been killed in the attack, though they could not confirm the number of deaths. "I ask America not to kill us," pleaded Hussain Khan, who said he had lost four children in the raid. In the rubble of one house, the remains of an arm stuck out from beneath a pile of bricks. A leg had been uncovered near by.
Another old man said: "We are poor people, don't hit us. We have nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. We are innocent people." Washington has not commented on the bombardment.
But as American warplanes entered the second week of the bombing campaign, Washington rejected the Taliban offer out of hand. "When I said no negotiations I meant no negotiations," Mr Bush said. "We know he's guilty. Turn him over. There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt."