Originally created 10/07/01

Britain says its submarines involved in strike against Afghanistan

LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunday that British missile-firing submarines were taking part in operations against Afghanistan.

Blair said the submarines had joined in a U.S.-led attack on Taliban military facilities and forces in Afghanistan at the request of Washington. He said British warplanes would join the attack in the next few days.

Blair gave no details about what targets the missiles had been fired at. Britain has at least two submarines in the Persian Gulf area armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Military action had become unavoidable after the Taliban rejected demands to surrender Osama bin Laden and his supporters, Blair said. The allies were "given the choice of siding with justice or siding with terror," he said.

Blair, speaking to journalists, said Washington had requested last Wednesday that British military units be made available for operations against Afghanistan.

The British military base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean had been put at the disposal of U.S. forces for the operation and Britain was providing logistical support, Blair said.


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