Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sun, Sept. 22

Bombing Afghanistan draws support from local leaders, ordinary citizens<BR>

The American and British bombing of Afghanistan, which started Sunday, drew support from local leaders and ordinary citizens.

Local residents said President George W.

Bush took the right move after negotiations broke down with the Taliban regime to turn over suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden more than three weeks after the Sept.

11 terrorist attacks.

However, some think America did not take a hard-line enough stance and others fear retaliation.

Kingman Mayor Les Byram said he followed the news of the bombing on television Sunday morning, and believes the American retaliation was "a step in the right direction.

"We hope they have success in their endeavors and our prayers go out to the president and the servicemen involved," Byram said.

Mohave County Supervisor Pete Byers agreed, saying, "I think that it was a long time coming.

I thought it would happen earlier.

President Bush, he had to do something."

Byers said Bush should "keep putting the pressure" on the Taliban.

Kingman physician Mehmood Khan, who is from Karachi, Pakistan, defended the military action, which has sparked protests from Taliban sympathizers in his homeland.

Pakistan, which neighbors Afghanistan, is the only country that maintains diplomatic relationships with the Taliban.

"I think this (bombing) as the right response because this (terrorism) is not what Islam preaches or practices," said Khan, who said he sympathized with Americans and others who lost loved ones following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

"Islam is one of the most peace-loving religions in the world."

Bin Laden is trying to say that America is against Muslims, said Debbie Coffman, a Kingman professional investor and herbalist.

"We need to respond to the Muslims who did attack us," Coffman said.

"I think Americans are intelligent enough to know that it is not all Muslims that are against us."

Coffman defended the military retaliation, but said she is disappointed that the Americans and the Taliban could not resolve the dispute peacefully.

"If somebody keeps hitting you and you try to make peace with them, then they hit you again, and you try to make peace with them again," she said.

"That hasn't worked.

I think the only thing they understand is to hit them back."

Kingman office manager Candice Darden, who has a daughter serving in the Navy, said Bush took the appropriate action.

"I firmly believe we needed to go there to take the action that the president has ordered," she said.

Bush did not take a tough enough stance, said Dale Braband, a masonry worker who lives in Golden Valley.

"I think we ought to push the (nuclear) button," he said.

"They seem to enjoy doing what what they did to us.

They won't give (bin Laden) up.

We have been too weak."

Byram, Byers and others fear terrorists may retaliate for the American and British bombing.

"I don't know for sure," Byers said.

"Maybe it will be in a foreign country.

I hope that it is not too devastating."

Citizens should be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior in light of the bombing, Kingman Police Capt.

Larry McGill said.

"We would much rather respond that not know about it," he said.

"Most of all, everybody should stay calm."

Miner reporter Marvin Robertson contributed to this story.

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