KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Heavy explosions rocked the Kabul airport Thursday afternoon in the first daylight raids on the capital, and bursts of Taliban anti-aircraft fire rang out during the fifth day of U.S. airstrikes on Afghanistan.
In neighboring Pakistan, government officials acknowledged for the first time that U.S. personnel were on the ground, military planes were arriving and the Americans had been granted use of two key air bases.
In the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, raids earlier Thursday targeted a compound where followers of Osama bin Laden had lived. Also hit was a munitions dump, and the resulting huge explosions sent many of the city's residents racing for the Pakistani border.
"People ran without looking back," said Abdul Gharrar, arriving at the Chaman border crossing.
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia said at least 115 people had been killed nationwide in overnight strikes late Wednesday and early Thursday, including 100 who died around Jalalabad and another 15 who were killed when a missile struck a mosque in that northeastern city.
The claims could not be independently confirmed.
An Air Force sergeant, Evander Earl Andrews, was killed in a heavy equipment accident in the northern Arabian Peninsula, becoming the first death in Operation Enduring Freedom, military officials said. Also, an unidentified U.S. Army soldier stationed in Turkey suffered critical injuries after becoming trapped between two trucks.
In London, the head of the British armed forces, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, said U.S.-led military action in Afghanistan could go on as long as until next summer, unless the Taliban surrenders bin Laden to face trial in connection with the terror attacks on the United States one month ago.
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